Durand Bernarr is an R&B singer from Cleveland, Ohio with a rich and soulful voice and with alot of range. Though his solo music career has been severely underrated commercially, he is far from unsuccessful as he has worked with many R&B legends like Earth, Wind and Fire, and Erykah Badu, as well as more contemporary artists like The Internet, Kaytranada, Ari Lennox and Anderson Paak.
Wanderlust (released September 23, 2022) is his fourth and most recent album release and he did not disappoint! Durand uses his music as a gateway into his world and personality with his witty songwriting in songs like Boundaries Featuring Tired & Exhausted, Lil Bit, and Ingredients. He also gives us some songs to dance or roller skate to (one of his hobbies) with songs like Rollin’ and Mango Butter. He isn’t afraid to show off his chops in all of his songs but it’s most apparent in slow jams like Leveled, Vacancy, H.I.
“If Boundaries has come to a city near you,Baby, let me tell you, go to the showAnd see what happen, I’m tellin’ you,Oh, baby, and Tired? Oh, baby, tearin’ it upExhausted? Layin’ it outAlright? I just wanted y’all to know, that’s what’s happenin’”Boundaries Featuring Tired & Exhausted – Durand Bernarr
During my first listen I didn’t feel like I connected with the album because of how much humor he likes to incorporate in his writing, it felt unserious. But as I thought longer about what music is and how music is supposed to be fun and make us feel good I started to listen differently. I know I’m not the only one who relates with this, but I’m definitely a person who needs time for an album to marinate before I can determine if I like it. With this album, it just gets better and better with every listen, every song is liked and saved to my Spotify library! The way he stays true to himself throughout the album by giving us light, funny lyricism but balances it out with more heavy-hitting songs about growing up, mental health, and working towards a goal highlights how well-rounded an artist he is. This album makes the listener feel like they are in the room with him as he sings with the way it’s mixed. It reminds me of the Motown era of music when artists would record their albums in the studio with their entire band and do take after take until they got a run that worked. It gives the album a sense of integrity that I love.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5, NO SKIPS
When you get the chance I highly recommend giving this album a listen and having fun with it! He’ll be touring this album starting in February 2023 in Oakland at the New Parish if you ever want to experience this musical genius in person!
Written by Kenne Jackson