Barrie Ontario’s PJ Wilson looks a little bit like a happier, thinner Notorious B.I.G. on the cover of his debut CD, but that’s the only thing “rap” about his soul sounds. Wilson belts out three jams full of soulful R&B on his debut release Preface. The first two tracks are produced by Chris Perry, who gives Wilson a fresh and exciting sound, resembling some of the best currently charting in R&B.
The upbeat anthem What’s On Your Mind is a killer groove based track that highlights Wilson’s strong voice and is a great way to kick off the release. Full of melody and funk, What’s On Your Mind, is a catchy number that sounds a little like Maroon 5 and Usher at their best and is by far the best of the tree tracks on the CD.
A bit slower, Let Me Show You Love comes across like some the classic Rick James slow jams from Street Songs – a bit of funk and a lot of soul. Highlighted with a strong chorus and smooth harmony vocals, Let Me Show You Love is a cushy track with some nice vocals three quarters of the way through.
Closing out the three song debut is the Marcus Kane produced After The Love Is Gone. A slightly different song from the rest, it is reminiscent of Boyz II Men and a little more 90s R&B than the rest. Given a choice, I would prefer to hear the PJ Wilson of the first two tracks. Kane’s production isn’t as bright and fulfilling as Perry’s full and vibrant sound.
With his punchy look and soulful voice, PJ Wilson is a Canadian R&B artist to look out for. This debut is a great taste of an artist who can lead a much needed Canadian R&B movement, which is currently (and falsely) dominated by the pop stylings of Justin Bieber and rapper Drake.