Michael B. Sutton
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Michael B. Sutton

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April 16, 2005


Rhythm & Blues:

BY GAIL MITCHELL

ON HIS OWN: During his seven years as a Motown writer/producer, he penned songs for such acts as Smokey Robinson ("There Will Come a Day") and the Originals ("Down to Love Town"). Now Michael B. Sutton has become a "Hopeless Romantic" on his first outing as a solo artist. The Little Dizzy release through City Hall Records is generating radio buzz with first single "Nobody." It is No. 38 on Billboard Radio Monitor's Adult R&B chart.

A remix of the single featuring Coco Brown of the Phat Cat Players is available. Other sensual treats on the album include "Lovers Serenade" with Tata Vega, "Do That to Me" and "If You Let Me Love You." Also working with Sutton was ex-wife and former Motown writer Brenda Sutton.

Sutton's release of "Hopeless Romantic" takes on even more significance given his bout with agoraphobia, the fear of being in public places. Through therapy, the condition has improved to the point where he is planning some limited engagements and station visits.

"I could barely go out the front door," Sutton says. "But I want people to feel this vibe. We AC adults need some good music."
- Billboard Article



Steppin’ with somebody. Keep an ear on “Nobody” from Michael B. Sutton. It’s a steppers favorite in Chicago, getting good spins at WVAZ at WSRB but also getting played at KOKY, KNEK, WLXC, WMGL, WVBE, KQXL, WUKS and others. “Nobody” is from Michael’s CD Hopeless Romantic, in stores now on Little Dizzy Records.

- Urban Buzz



Body Music – If You Let Me Love You (The Second Time Around) – Give It Up – Do That To Me – Sweet Surrender – Flight – Interlude – Feelin’ Down (Go Down On Me Blues) – Love Me Inside Out – I Wanna Sex You – Interlude – Lovers Serenade – Nobody – Hopeless Romantic

This wonderful album was drawn to my attention in November, and on hearing a few sound samples, I was absolutely blown away! Those who know their onions will already be aware of Mr. Sutton through his work with his wife, Brenda as well as his collaborations at Motown during the 70s with the likes of The Originals and Smokey Robinson to name but two. So what is the man producing here and now? Classy modern soul music, that’s what. 14 tracks with plenty of gems and sparklers to impress the most hard-nosed purist amongst us, even.
The CD blasts off with a very modern midtempo outing, laced with a Latin flavour and floaty, velvet vocals from Michael and some very able backing singers. Before I go on, I must say that although this set is independent in production it does not suffer from a lack of professionalism or quality – this is major material in that sense. Rest assured! Hot on its heels is the gorgeous ballad "If You Let Me Love You (The Second Time Around)" which allows Michael to deploy his sensuous vocals with pinpoint accuracy.
One of three KILLERS, though is "Do That To Me" – perhaps one of the best ballads released during 2002. Atmospheric, sublime and canters along with a gentle rhythm and catchy hook. This is just a lovely song, it really is. "Sweet Surrender" and "Flight" both have an early 90s quality feel to them and are very good indeed. I love the softness of the vocals and in my mind is a beautiful melodic contrast to the nasty, aggressive sharp beats employed by a myriad of today’s supposed R&B ‘stars’.
The interlude is a very tasty teaser for the KILLER final cut, "Hopeless Romantic" which will have you feeling very sad indeed that the CD has come to an end. Tata Vega joins Michael on the Latin number, "Lover’s Serenade" and is jolly nice, too, but is nothing compared to the this killer cut and the song that has made most airplay on quality radio…"Nobody". "Nobody" is pure class and ranks in my top 10 favourites of the year. Imagine Isley Jasper Isley at their very best - think "I Can’t Get Over Losin’ You" and "Giving You Back The Love" and you are in familiar territory. This is quality soul music for 2003 if ever I heard it, and more of it, please. An essential release, no more to say about it.
- The Lowdown


If Michael B. Sutton's music seems like a throwback to a previous era, the glory days of pop-flavored R&B as exemplified by the classic Motown sound, it's only because he was, in fact, such a large part of that sound and that era. Although he scored some dance floor hits under his own name during the disco era, Sutton's primary contribution was as a staff producer and writer at Motown Records for seven years, a tenure that found him working on hits for Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Thelma Houston and more.
He faded from the scene, though, as he struggled with agoraphobia (a struggle he deals with quite openly today). Hopeless Romantic is his comeback effort, and lovers of lush, romantic R&B will find it well worth the wait. It's highly reminiscent of some of Marvin Gaye's later work, with a strong dose of healthy eroticism that makes it a fine accompaniment to a late night session with candles and wine as well as an album that should fill dance floors from coast to coast.
R&B for grownups by an artist who's been there and is definitely back, Hopeless Romantic is my "pick-up music" pick of the month.
Track List:
Body Music * If You Let Me Love You * Give It Up * Do That To Me * Sweet Surrender * Flight * Interlude * Feeling Down * Love Me Inside Out * I Wanna Sex You * Interlude * Lover's Serenade * Nobody * Hopeless Romantic

- Cosmik Debris


GROWN FOLKS PLAYLIST
artist song label
1. ALEXANDER ZONJIC SELDOM BLUE HEADS UP
2 MICHAEL SUTTON NOBODY LITTLE DIZZY
3. JON B ONE MORE DANCE E2
4. AL JARREAU MIDNIGHT SUN VERVE
5. BASS X SEE YOU AGAIN LIQUID
6. PETE BELASCO DEEPER COMPENDIA
7. THE BAR KAYS GLAD YOU’RE /LADY [STEPPERS M) RIGHT NOW

8. DOC POWELL / G. TAYLOR YOU MEAN MORE TO ME HEADS UP
9. QUEEN LATIFAH HELLO STRANGER A&M
10 C& J FAMILY LOVERS NIGHT /NEXT STEP
11. GERALD LEVERT EVERYDAY ELECKTRA
12 TWO COLD LAST NIGHT TRY CYCLE
13. FELTON OFFARD I’M YOURS CD RISE
14. MARIO LET ME LOVE YOU J RECORDS
15 AMP FIDDLER EYE TO EYE GENUINE
16 MAYSA SMOOTH SAILING N2ENCODED
17. POSITIVE FLOW CAN YOU FEEL IT SHANACHIE
18. TWO COLD POPPIN TRY CYCLE
19. DESTINY’S CHILD GIRL SONY
20.CARLTON BLOUNT ACTING LIKE YOU’RE FREE MAGNATAR REC.
- Still Of The Night


Nobody is one of the best songs of the year!" - Toby Walker, soulwalking.co.uk

The soul community, including tastemakers such as Toby Walker and Ralph Tees, has been embracing Hopeless Romantic , the independently released debut artist album from Michael B. Sutton - an ex-staff writer and producer for Motown Records. Sutton has over two decades of seasoned experience in the music industry, including seven years at Motown Records. A Stevie Wonder discovery, Mr. Sutton drew the attention of many talented artists at Motown for his genius as a musician, lyricist and composer. Over the years, Sutton has composed and produced music for Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Anita Pointer and Pat Boone to name a few.

- Soul Survivor


Michael B. Sutton
Hopeless Romantic-Little Dizzy
Reviewed by: A. Scott Galloway

Mr. Sutton has composed beautiful songs over the years for Michael Jackson, Jerry Butler, Smokey Robinson, Jermaine Jackson and Dennis Edwards to name a few. Now in his first solo album, he delivers one of the creamiest, most consistent mood makers (and sustainers) that will you will hear for years to come. It is aptly titled Hopeless Romantic and within its elemental grooves, classy chord changes and stripped-to-the-bare-essentials arrangements, you will hear traces of soul music’s finest artists through the ages. Sutton’s voice and arrangements are the apex of intimacy-like Johnny Bristol meets Marvin Gaye - and his songs are the work of a master craftsman now tailoring songs for himself. Highlights include the blissful “Flight”, the sexy “ Give It Up,” the lover’s beg
“ If You Let Me Love You” (The Second Time Around) and the steppers groove” Nobody.” The man with the “velvet voice” is so persuasive, he even got his ex-wife Brenda Sutton, t sing a due with him on Flack and Hathaway’s “Where Is The Love.”
Whatever you do, do NOT sleep on this outstanding indie.
- The Urban Network Magazine




Hosting this website is a real hit and miss venture. CD's arrive from time to time, some of which are, awful, some are Macy Gray soundalikes (or the latest answer to Eryka Badu! LOL) some are quite good and some are downright fantastic! This artist I knew about via his collaboration with his wife Brenda from back in the day, whilst he is also a discovery of one Stevie Wonder, no less. I guess that this label figured that there wasn't a market out there for this type of music....LOL, so they contacted me!! LOL. Well, my wife wasn't well, daughter had tonsilitis, so I sorted out the necessary things to help the women I love and sat down with this CD and a beer!! Got really into several of the opening tracks ('Do That To Me' is quite lovely) on this 14 tracker and got to track 13. This has to be one of the songs of the year! Is it that good? Well, believe me it is. What is the feel? Well I guess it is kind of Isley, Jasper, Isley / Gary Taylor at their finest. The whole album is beautifully recorded and delivered and I called Jazz FM, Blues and Soul and Expansion Records about this album and that tune. Don't believe me. Listen to 'Nobody'. Absolutely fantastic. Enough said.
- Toby Walker @ Soulwalking.UK


Discography

Album: Hopeless Romantic
Single: I Wanna Sex You ( Dance and Urban mixes)
Nobody: Current Single

Photos

Bio

Michael B. Sutton - Hopeless Romantic

"Take my hand, baby, come with me / My love won't hold you back, it will set you free / And you will feel what it's like / To soar like a kite / Higher and higher / I'll hold you so tight / Tell me, baby, all your desires / Let me fulfill all of your dreams / Oh deeper, I need to go deeper /
And find out what this love really means" - from "Flight"

In Michael B. Sutton's universe, music, romance and sensuality are inseparably engaged in a ménage a trois that both soothes and arouses. On the singer/songwriter's impeccably titled Hopeless Romantic - the behind-the-scenes veteran's long overdue debut album - Sutton weaves a bewitching spell, making it utterly impossible for you to press Pause or Stop until his skillfully sequenced audio passion play has come to its natural conclusion. This is the sign of a musical master - a gentle genius who has overcome crippling personal hardship to slow cook a feast for the loving and the lustful that will sate their appetites for many a bliss-filled night to come.

In the past, Mr. Sutton has penned hits for Smokey Robinson ["There Will Come a Day (I'm Gonna Happen To You)"], Cheryl Lynn ("Shake It Up Tonight") and a disco smash for The Originals ("Down To Love Town"). But during his seven years at Motown as a writer/producer, he earned his reputation as the go-to guy for quality album cuts that often became "fan favorites" - the tracks that make albums enjoyable from start to finish. This distinguished resume includes a young Michael Jackson ("Cinderella Stay Awhile"), Jermaine Jackson ("Stay With Me"), Thelma Houston ("Today Will Soon Be Yesterday," from her Gold-selling album Any Way You Like It), Switch ("It's So Real," from their self-titled platinum debut), former Temptations lead singer Dennis Edwards ("When The Lights Come Down On Love") and ‘The Ice Man’ himself, Jerry Butler ("I Don't Want Nobody To Know"). Most recently, Texas rapper Scarface with special guests Jay-Z & Beanie Sigel sampled The Originals' "Sunrise" (yet another song that Michael co-penned) for the Source Award-winning hip hop hit, "Guess Who's Back.”

It is this Motown apprenticeship that thoroughly seasoned Michael B. Sutton into the artist he has become on Hopeless Romantic – 15 songs (and 2 interludes) of sensual inspiration from the man with “the velvet voice." It opens with the soul synthesized minuet "Body Music," then descends into a two-song story about seducing an abandoned beauty: "If You Let Me Love You (The Second Time Around)" and the bumpin' "Give It Up." This is followed by the blissful trinity of "Do That To Me," "Sweet Surrender" and "Flight," all quintessential bedroom grooves in the key of A: amour. Next is a very special treat for Michael’s longtime fans: a reunion with his former wife Brenda Sutton (now Turner) on a remake of Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway’s 1972 classic, "Where Is The Love" (penned by Ralph MacDonald and William Salter). Then, Michael takes a naughty detour downtown with the ultra-provocative "Feelin' Down (Go Down On Me Blues)," the GET-down funk of "Love Me Inside Out," and the LOW-down, boldly blunt, "I Wanna Sex You" (also available in a remix by producers Christian B and Marc Dold, and Boris & Beck, who’ve mined hits for Enya, Luther Vandross, Thalia, Pink, and Celine Dion).

The final three songs of Hopeless Romantic comprise a relaxing home stretch that plays like a night cruise with the top down in tropical paradise. It begins with the Spanish tinged duet "Lovers Serenade," on which Michael is joined by his former Motown label mate Tata Vega. Next up is "Nobody," a steppers groove with a cha cha flair and a message every woman wants to hear. Finally, the ride arrives at its heavenly close with the title track, “Hopeless Romantic.”

Addressing the sensual elements of his album, soft-spoken yet philosophical Mr. Sutton explains, "Great sex stems from passion and the freedom to explore it. You have to feel good about it! Sexuality is a spiritual adventure. There was something opening up in me at the time that I wrote most of this material…a sense of freedom about who I am. These songs were born out of that liberation of expression."

Michael Burnett Sutton was born in Oakland, California, the second child of be bop trumpet player Burnett Sutton and his lovely wife Lula Mae. It was Michael's grandmother who steered him toward the Church of The Living God, where his high school buddy Ernie Jackson introduced him to the Hammond B3 organ. Soon, Michael was fellowshipping in musical ministries in Los Angeles. During a long drive back up Highway 99, Michael wrote his very first song to help him make it through the frightfully foggy night: "Jesus Will Give You The Victory." At 17, Michael moved to L.A. for good, living with friends at first. When the lady of the house's sister Brenda came to visit, Michael fell in love. They performed gospel together, eventually working with legendary James Cleveland a