Hailing from the small town of Pleasantville, NJ, Leonard Dozier has built a career that is deeply entrenched in all facets of the entertainment industry. Working as a voice actor, musical theater actor, producer, author, speaker, and singer-songwriter, Dozier’s seemingly endless list of talents has gained him national recognition in nearly all of his chosen fields. As a musician, Dozier began working on his solo releases starting in 2016 with the release of the album Soul of a Pisces, followed by Sunday Word in 2018.
This year, Dozier brings us his third full-length project. The Tears I Cry is a deeply personal project for Dozier, conceptualized after suffering an unnecessary surgery that was not only unsuccessful but left him with new physical limitations. This deeply challenging time resulted in this ten-track project, brimming with jazz and blues elements on an R&B foundation, and brought to life by his production team of Chris Davis, Bill Jolly, and Carl Culley.
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
The opening track Right Now serves as an excellent introduction to the elements and production style one can expect from the album as a whole. Even the opening lyrics “I don’t want to do this anymore” speaks to the frustrated headspace that Dozier was in at the time of the song’s writing. And from there, the track feels like a letter of encouragement to himself as he urges himself to “be a better you, starting right now.” This is all delivered to us with a soft, understated R&B rhythm, gentle but insistent throughout (very in line with the song’s message, in fact).
Windows of the World moves us in a slightly more classic direction with a ballad built on rich strings and keys. We start to identify Dozier’s unique signature vocal style – a captivating blend of delicate intricacy flanked by moments of power and depth. The melody in the verses also works well to show off his impressive vocal range. As the track opens up at the chorus, it settles into a throwback R&B sound, the simplicity and tonality bringing ’90s elements to mind.
The switch to a much more heavily produced and modern sound in Wifey is a welcome addition to this project – as is the inclusion of the saxophone. The layered vocals and dark melody give this track a hint of mystery and intrigue, and the track has a slow and compelling build, adding strings, intensifying percussion, and elevating the energy as it progresses. This track also showcases a smokier side of Dozier’s vocals; there is emotion abounding on this track.
Sheltered With You brings to light some of the difficulties these pandemic years have inflicted on us all, giving us Dozier’s unique perspective on how he was able to persevere. The stunning spoken word section at the beginning of this track is a perfect example of why he has been so successful in the voice acting industry – his rich, deep voice serving as the perfect vessel for his heartfelt message before the melody takes over. From here, he trades off with a gorgeous female vocal over a dramatic R&B ballad, moving over a sonic tapestry of strings and maintaining just the slightest presence of synths to give the track a modern feel.
We also love Kept You Alive for bringing a soft and melancholy moment to the project. Emphasizing the lower end of Dozier’s range in the verses juxtaposed against a high, pure melody in the chorus makes for a spellbinding listening experience, and the harmonies in the chorus give the track a hint of a gospel feel. The lyrics on this track are also a highlight, showing a poetic and thoughtful side to Dozier’s writing abilities:
“A closed door is closed for reasons and seasons
Innocence, can be in a sense, your worst enemy
I just thought you could help me as I did you
But then you told her our lie”
OUR FAVORITE TRACK…
Beyond the extremely catchy melody, there’s something else that’s so addictive and endearing about A Beautiful Man. Perhaps it’s the inclusion of the light funk elements, the tasteful vocal riffs, or the uplifting messaging, but this track is a true stand-out on the album. It addresses a theme not seen too often in modern music – and that’s inspirational, encouraging music written exclusively for men. This track takes a simplistic, mantra-like approach, repeating key phrases for emphasis again and again so that by the end of the track the message is crystal clear and altogether believable:
“I’m gonna be my own man
I wanna be a beautiful man
And everything in me says I can
I wanna be a beautiful man”
Heartfelt, original, moving, and expressive. Leonard Dozier succeeds at anything he puts his mind to, and the music on this album stands as a testament to that. The songs on The Tears I Cry illustrate his challenging journey with evocative songwriting, top-tier musical performance, and excellence in production to tie it all together. Fans of classic, modern, and out-of-the-box R&B styles will find so much to enjoy on this album. There truly seems to be little that Dozier can’t do, regardless of obstacle or unexpected challenge. In fact, if this album is an indication, his work is much like a diamond – forged under times of pressure to a spectacular result.
BELOW: Check out our full artist interview with Leonard Dozier, listen to his album The Tears I Cry, and connect with his website and social media platforms, watch his music video, and find his booking & contact information. Please support Leonard Dozier by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
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Check out our interview with LEONARD DOZIER:
Follow, stream, download & connect with LEONARD DOZIER online:
Listen to THE TEARS I CRY by LEONARD DOZIER:
Watch LEONARD DOZIERS’s music video for the song WINDOWS OF THE WORLD:
Booking & contact information for LEONARD DOZIER:
Contact: Robert Williams