It isn’t often that the instrumental faceting in an R&B attracts as much focus as the lead singer does on their own, but then again, it isn’t very often that a track like “Keys to ya Heart” by Denzell Terrell hits record store shelves. With ebullience in his vocal and a dreamy bassline supporting his every word, a confident and relaxed Terrell dishes up some of the sexiest R&B I’ve listened to from an underground player all year long here, and with the right exposure on either side of the indie circuit, his reverent musicality is bound to get a lot of people excited this December.
The music video for “Keys to ya Heart” actually highlights Terrell’s affection for the retro more than it does the actual narrative he’s putting together at the microphone, but I like the setting and stylization of the visuals just the same. The last couple of years have felt pretty underwhelming in terms of smart videography in R&B and hip-hop, but this return to the basics is something that this player could easily ride out of the underground and into the primetime. It’s only a throwback if it doesn’t feel original, which this song absolutely does.
Romantic R&B enthusiasts and the discriminating pop consumer needn’t question whether or not acquiring “Keys to ya Heart” is a good idea right now, as this is one super-hyped single and music video that definitely earns its fair share of fame. Denzell Terrell is a marvelous singer, but rather than giving us the potency of his pipes alone, he’s going all-in with everything he can artistically put forward without losing his soul in the process. I applaud the dedication he’s got when he’s in the recording studio, and from the looks of it, I don’t think this element of his career is going to change at all.