Before I get started with this review for Jeff Bernat’s Modern Renaissance, I just want to say that I hope your Holiday season has been wonderful. 2013 has been another fantastic year for music, and there is certainly more to look forward to in 2014. But anyway, let’s get on with things.
R&B/Soul singer Jeff Bernat released his sophomore album Modern Renaissance on December 5th. I’ve had some time with the album and I must say that it is a nice project that is certainly well put together. I commend Jeff to the fullest for his growth from 2011’s The Gentlemen Approach. The quality of production has grown in sophistication in terms of the use of live instrumentation. Songs like “Boogie Down” and “First Class” are direct examples of this. I was happy to see L.A. emcee Dumbfoundead on the third track “Workflow”. By far, my favorite song off Modern Renaissance is “Lavish”.
As far as Neo-Soul projects go, Modern Renaissance establishes itself and Jeff Bernat needs to be recognized as a being in the same boat with others such as Frank Ocean, Allen Stone, and even Phonte Coleman of The Foreign Exchange. However, lyrically on very few songs do I find him having the variety that today’s top neo-soul singers have. In the past, Jeff has been known to do this, but Modern Renaissance was not at all lacking in filler tracks. Don’t get me wrong, songs like “Higher” and “Various Places” boost the quality of the album by far, but for some reason I find this album not quite as memorable as Jeff’s past work and I would’ve like to seen at least one more guest appearance, perhaps a duet. I did enjoy Modern Renaissance, but I feel like more could have been done with it. Modern Renaissance earns 3.5/5 flies.