As we approach the release of Avant’s new album “The VIII”, we take a look back at the singles selected on his first seven albums and re-choose from each. Avant is the next in line of our “Should Have Been Singles” feature as we reflect on each of his albums and discuss how we would have chosen the singles to release. The new album “The VIII” will release on September 25th.
Avant – “My Thoughts” (2000)
Avant Chose: 1) Separated 2) My First Love featuring Keke Wyatt 3) This Time
YouKnowIGotSoul Would Have Chosen: 1) My First Love featuring Keke Wyatt 2) Get Away 3) Reaction
Analysis: It’s hard to argue with the choices made on Avant’s debut album “My Thoughts” since the project turned platinum, but we’d still have made a few changes. “My First Love” with Keke Wyatt was an undeniable first single in a time when duets will still a focal point. He could have followed this up with “Get Away”, a track that showed the vulnerability that would creep into his music over the next decade, and “Reaction” for its fun uptempo groove. “Separated” is a good song, but we’d prefer these three first.
Avant – “Ecstasy” (2002)
Avant Chose: 1) Makin Good Love 2) Don’t Say No, Just Say Yes 3) You Aint Right
YouKnowIGotSoul Would Have Chosen: 1) Makin Good Love 2) One Way Street featuring Charlie Wilson 3) Sorry
Analysis: As you’ll see becomes a trend in this article, Avant had a knack for choosing the right lead single, and that was the case with “Makin Good Love” on his sophomore album “Ecstasy”. We love the powerful male duet “One Way Street” with Charlie Wilson and would have lined that up next before taking it down again with “Sorry”.
Avant – “Private Room” (2003)
Avant Chose: 1) Read Your Mind 2) Don’t Take Your Love Away 3) Wanna Be Close
YouKnowIGotSoul Would Have Chosen: 1) Read Your Mind 2) AV 3) Phone Sex (That’s What’s Up)
Analysis: “Read Your Mind” was another good choice to lead, and it almost felt like a part two of “Makin Good Love”. No offense to “Don’t Take Your Love Away”, it’s a great song, but “AV” was a more dynamic uptempo that would have added another side sonically to Avant’s catalog. He could have also gone with “Phone Sex (That’s What’s Up) as the final single which features amazing arrangements, even if the lyrics would have been too raunchy for radio.
Avant – “Director” (2006)
Avant Chose: 1) You Know What featuring Lil’ Wayne 2) 4 Minutes 3) Lie About Us
YouKnowIGotSoul Would Have Chosen: 1) 4 Minutes 2) Right Place, Wrong Time 3) You Know What featuring Lil’ Wayne
Analysis: In a time when hip-hop continued to emerge in prominence over r&b, it was predictable that Avant would go with “You Know What” featuring Lil’ Wayne to lead “Director”. It fit the narrative of the time. It’s a good song, but “4 Minutes” is more him, and so is our next single choice “Right Place, Wrong Time”. Avant seems to thrive in the vulnerability.
Avant – “Avant” (2008)
Avant Chose: 1) When It Hurts 2) Break Ya Back
YouKnowIGotSoul Would Have Chosen: 1) When It Hurts 2) Sailing 3) Sensuality
Analysis: Avant came back to what we know him for on the lead single from “Avant”, as “When it Hurts” is his vintage sound. We would loved to hear him make his Christopher Cross cover of “Sailing” a single, he did it great justice. Finally, “Sensuality” was a progressive jam that would have added a nice element to his catalog.
Avant – “The Letter” (2010)
Avant Chose: 1) Kiss Goodbye 2) Your Body is the Business 3) Graduated
YouKnowIGotSoul Would Have Chosen: 1) Kiss Goodbye 2) Nightlife 3) Your Body is the Business
Analysis: Another album, another vulnerable vintage Avant jam to lead with; “Kiss Goodbye”. From here we would have gone with the party jam “Nightlife” followed by “Your Body is the Business” which he chose 2nd.
Avant – “Face the Music” (2013)
Avant Chose: 1) You & I featuring Keke Wyatt 2) More
YouKnowIGotSoul Would Have Chosen: 1) You & I featuring Keke Wyatt 2) Best Friend 3) Gratitude
Analysis: Taking it back to where it all started, Avant found magic once again by dueting with Keke Wyatt on the smash “You & I”. The fans had been waiting for years for it, and it was a great choice. He went with “More” as the second single and it was a solid choice, but we really liked “Best Friend” and “Gratitude” for their dynamic lyrics.