Superhero (Brian McKnight album)

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Superhero
Studio album by Brian McKnight
Released August 28, 2001
Recorded 2000-2001
Label Motown Records
Brian McKnight chronology
Back at One
(1999)
Superhero
(2001)
U-Turn
(2003)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Vibe 3.5/5 stars[2]

Superhero is an album by Brian McKnight released on August 28, 2001. It is the sixth studio album of his career. McKnight recorded this album to showcase his many musical influences and give listeners a glimpse into the past year of his life. Superhero mixes McKnight's usual R&B style with a touch of rock and roll and rap. Featured guests include Justin Timberlake, Nate Dogg, Fred Hammond, and the St. Lunatics.

Superhero debuted at number seven on the Billboard 200 albums chart, moving 153,000 units in its first week. On October 24, 2001, the album was certified Gold by the RIAA. In 2002, three singles off of the album were nominated for four Grammy Awards.

Album Insight[edit]

In the CD booklet, Brian McKnight explains why he made the album:

   Superheroes are people who do things everyday that go unrecognized... teachers, firemen, police, parents. That sort of grace 
   is what I aspire to and what people should aspire to. These songs talk about those moments and frankly, the sort of man I hope
   to be. You can view this album as a diary of the past year of my life and these songs as a beacon for me to try to reach
   higher. [3]

The past year in Brain McKnight's life was full of family and music. With his wife Julia but being separated twice by this time, he was still something of a superhero to his children. His two sons BJ (Brian Jr., 10) and Niko (Cole Nikolas, 7) were following in his footsteps at this point in their life. In the July 2000 edition of Ebony, it states that "BJ has his own music studio in his bedroom. Like his dad, he writes music and shares his father's love of sports. Niko is musically inclined as well and has a drum set in his bedroom..." [4]

Brian McKnight has many influences. He lists them as Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Kenny Loggins because "he's a singer/songwriter/guitar player", David Sanborn, Marcus Miller, and Al Jarreau were his jazz influences, and The Police, Chicago (band), Toto (band), and Steely Dan were his rock/pop influences. McKnight's biggest influence was his older brother Claude V. McKnight III, the founder of the a Capella group, Take 6. Brian's motivation grew from seeing his brother's success. Take 6 was signed to Warner Bothers in 1987 and Brian was signed shortly after to Mercury in 1988.[5]


Critical Reception[edit]

Superhero garnered generally positive reviews. Cheo Tyehimba of Entertainment Weekly gave the album a 'B' grade and went on to say: "Combining that superpower with his formulaic, but potent songwriting skills, he's created an ambitious CD of mid-tempo hip hop, rock, and gospel grooves."[6] In addition, Lana K. Wilson-Combs of the Sacramento News & Review gave the album praise. She explained: "McKnight—who’s cut from the same old-school cloth as Teddy Pendergrass, Marvin Gaye and Luther Vandross—specializes in sensuous love songs. Here he doesn’t disappoint." [7]

Awards[edit]

Brian McKnight was nominated for the 'Outstanding Male Performance' award at the 2002 NAACP Image awards for his work on Superhero. [8] In addition, McKnight was nominated for four Grammy Awards for his work on the album: [9]

Best Pop Vocal Performance - Male for "Still"

Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for "My Kind of Girl" featuring Justin Timberlake

Best R&B Vocal Performance - Male for "Love Of My Life"

Best R&B Song for "Love Of My Life"

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Prelude"   2:51
2. "When You Wanna Come"   4:39
3. "What's It Gonna Be"   4:28
4. "My Kind Of Girl (featuring Justin Timberlake)"   3:52
5. "Love Of My Life"   4:42
6. "Whatever You Want"   4:06
7. "Everything"   3:31
8. "Get Over You"   3:38
9. "Superhero"   3:08
10. "Still"   4:19
11. "Don't Know Where to Start (featuring Nate Dogg)"   4:37
12. "Biggest Part Of Me"   4:37
13. "When Will I See You Again (featuring Fred Hammond)"   5:18
14. "For You"   1:56
15. "(Bonus Track) Groovin' Tonight (featuring St. Lunatics)"   5:16

Singles[edit]

"Love Of My Life"

"Still"

"What's It Gonna Be"



Charts[edit]

Chart (2001) Peak
position
Billboard 200[10] 7
Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[10] 4


Superhero & more...
Superhero and more
Cover of Superhero & more...

Superhero & more...[edit]

In 2002 Brian McKnight reissued the album Superhero called Superhero & more... The imported version has a second CD with three audio bonus tracks and three bonus music videos. The Superhero and more... album features the Korean singer Cho-Kyu-Chan and the music group Urban Xchange.

Superhero & more... Bonus Audio Tracks[edit]

1. "Thank you (For Saving my Life) featuring Cho-Kyu-Chan"
2. "Over and Over Again"     
3. "When You Wanna Come (featuring Urban Xchange)"

Superhero & more... Music Videos[edit]

1. "Still"
2. "Love of My Life"
3. "Thank You (For Saving My Life) featuring Cho-Kyu-Chan"

Personnel[edit]

[11]

  • Doug Aldrich - Guitar
  • Brandon Barnes - Composer
  • Battlecat - Producer
  • Tom Bender - Mixing Engineer
  • Bo Boddie - Mixing Assistant
  • Sandy Brummels - Art Direction
  • Bruce Carbone - A&R, Executive Producer
  • Steve Churchyard - Engineer
  • Pamela Dillard - Vocals
  • Anthony Dixon - Composer, Keyboards, Synthesizer Bass
  • Peter Doell - Engineer
  • Nate Dogg - Primary Artist, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
  • Steve Eigner - Guitar
  • Jason "Jay E" Epperson - Producer
  • Mark Eshelman - Stage Manager
  • Errin Familia - Assistant Engineer
  • Joaquin Perez Fernandez - Assistant Engineer
  • Vanessa Fernandez - Vocals (Background)
  • Tony Flores - Mixing Assistant
  • Kevin "D.J. Battlecat" Gilliam - Composer
  • John Goodmanson - Mixing
  • David Guerrero - Assistant Engineer, Mixing Assistant
  • Mick Guzauski - Mixing
  • Nathaniel Hale - Composer
  • Fred Hammond - Primary Artist
  • Jimmy Hoyson - Assistant Engineer
  • Justin Timberlake - Primary Artist
  • St. Lunatics - Primary Artist
  • Trisno Ishak - Vocals (Background)
  • Brion James - Guitar
  • Cho-Kyu-Chan - Primary Artist
  • Bashiri Johnson - Percussion
  • Suzie Katayama - Orchestra Contractor, String Contractor
  • Lilly Lee - Logo Design
  • Jason Lloyd - Stage Manager
  • Liz Loblack - Product Manager
  • Jeremy Mackenzie - Assistant Manager
  • Tony Marserati - Mixing
  • Kedar Massenburg - Executive Producer
  • Brian McKnight - Bass, Composer, Guitar, Keyboards, Multi Instruments, Primary Artist, Producer, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
  • Bill Meyers - Composer, Conductor, Horn Arrangements, Horn Conductor, Orchestral Arrangements, Piano, Producer, String Arrangements, String Conductor
  • Peter Mokran - Mixing
  • Anthony Nance - Composer, Drum Programming, Programming
  • Tim Nitz - Engineer
  • Dave Pensado - Mixing
  • Herb Powers - Mastering
  • Jimmy Randolph - Pro-Tools
  • Robert Read - Assistant Engineer
  • Herb Ritts - Photography
  • Greg Ross - Art Direction, Design
  • Ivy Skoff - Orchestra Production
  • Andrew Slade - Assistant Engineer
  • Mary Ann Souza - Assistant Engineer
  • Steve Thompson - Mixing, Producer
  • Herb Trawick - A&R, Executive Producer
  • Urban Xchange - Vocals
  • Tommy Vicari - Engineer, Mixing
  • Paul Wagner - Assistant Engineer
  • Patrick Weber - Technical Engineer
  • Chris Wood - Engineer


References[edit]