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Single Review: Sharon Hendrix feat. Marvin Robinson – “It Takes Two”

R&B temptress Sharon Hendrix dishes out a pure soul classic in her new cover of “It Takes Two” with Marvin Robinson, but classifying it as a mere cover track would be wholly dismissing the litany of charming textures that it presents anyone who gives it a spin with. Fresh off the release of her last hit single, the up-and-coming songwriter doesn’t hold anything back from us in her lush lyrical delivery in this song and cultivates a surreal style of melodicism in its roughly four minutes of play that stands as unparalleled in 2023. Hendrix means serious business with this track, and “It Takes Two” speaks volumes about the commitment she has to her marvelously-chosen medium.

The rhythm here is as consistent as what we have come to recognize in the original incarnation of the song, but it’s tempered by the carefully crafted master mix wonderfully. There’s so much lust in the grooves framing the chorus, and it’s spurred on by the warm lyrics adorning its ridges. “It Takes Two” is a colorfully captivating pop song, and unlike a lot of similarly stylized R&B fodder, it doesn’t use the gilded vocals of its lead singer exclusively in casting its spell over us.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Sharon Hendrix wants to engage us on every level in this track, and thanks to this provocative production, she’s able to do exactly what she set out to.

No stellar pop single would be complete without a sultry melodic chorus, and “It Takes Two” sports one of the more textured hooks that I’ve had the pleasure of listening to this year, partially thanks to the finesse that Mr. Robinson lends this cover.

It’s not aggressive, but it’s a component that is steeped in physicality and unforgivingly designed to be the cathartic fever pitch of the song. The addictiveness of the hook is more than enough to keep me coming back for more, but it’s nice that it isn’t the only charming quality within the song.

Persistent from the get-go and mixed relatively as high in the piece as Hendrix’s serenade is, the hollow percussion that drives the grooves in “It Takes Two” contributes to the narrative of these verses a lot more than I was expecting it to. It never intrudes on the tightly-arranged vocal track, but I do think that were it not as beefy in the big picture as it ultimately becomes, this song might not be as stirring as it is in this form that we find it in here. This is a robust offering in every sense, and it’s coming to us from a singer with enormous potential moving forward.

Supremely polished, elegantly constructed, and packing one heck of a harmonic punch, R&B and soul fans need to check out Sharon Hendrix’s “It Takes Two” this month, if for no other reason than to complete that imperfect playlist missing its signature pop centerpiece. There’s still a lot of creative ground left for her to cover, but to say that Hendrix doesn’t show off an erudite skillset in this song simply would not be true.

Keith Middlebrooks

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