Sounds like … a futuristic version of Prince, Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, Kanye West, and other urban songsters with a slightly off-kilter edge.

At a glance … not as raw and uncut as other underground projects he's released, Unspoken finds Tonéx showing his R&B side like never before.

It's a wonder what moved Tonéx to originally pick gospel as his genre of choice. A consummate singer, songwriter, producer, dancer, and preacher—he once called his calling "entertainistry"—he has always resided somewhere beyond the gospel continuum. You could say church folk weren't ready for him, despite his attempts to appease them with gospelized ballads and churchy affectations.

Easily one of the most misunderstood and scrutinized gospel artists in history, Tonéx has seen it all. Since we last heard from him in 2004, he's lashed out at the industry, faced litigation from his record label, come under fire for both his image and MySpace antics, gone through a divorce, been called gay … the list is endless.

But all of that is past. Five long years since his sprawling yet ultimately erratic Out the Box, Tonéx is finally ready to show more of his true self with Unspoken, his umpteenth album in a prolific discography laden with underground projects, mixtapes, EPs, and digital-only releases (nearly all of them can be fetched on iTunes).

With his legal woes ostensibly behind him, Tonéx is releasing Unspoken on fledgling R&B imprint Battery Records, a unit of Zomba. The new partnership makes sense because Unspoken contains none of the gospel obligations that marked his tenure at Verity Records, the other Zomba subsidiary he once called home. Now, he can let his true musical interests fly. It's ...

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Unspoken
Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
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Artist
Release Date
March 17, 2009
Label
TONEX/BATTERY CAT
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