Devon Gilfillian | Love You Anyway Review
by Darnell Jackson
Devon Gilfillian is a rising R&B singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, releasing his second full-length studio album, Love You Anyway. The Philadelphia-born, Nashville-based soul artist brings a mix of sounds to this album with elements of soul, hip-hop, R&B, and rock. Love You Anyway was produced by Jeremy Lutito (Joy Oladokun, NEEDTOBREATHE) and recorded in Nashville, built with ten original songs (all co-written by Gilfillian).
“All I Really Wanna Do” is the breeze opener that sets the tone and energy of the album. Gilfillian has a soulful voice, and his personality comes through every note. There is a strong seventies overtone in the sound and vibe of the instruments and feel. There is an abundance of vocal harmonies and doubling during the chorus, which adds fullness. The song form is very predictable and repetitive, but what a beautiful groove.
“Let The Water Flow” is a powerful song, and Gilfillian’s vocals are beautiful. When the acoustic piano accompanies Gilfillian, it is incredible. However, the drumbeat is dull (are those even real handclaps?) and distracts attention from his profound message’s fantastic lyrics and meaning. The choir could be featured more too. The last chorus does feature the choir, but this should be the primary backing color, with that organ rounding out the edges. A beautiful message that did not get the proper treatment in production and instrumentation.
Devon Gilfillian is an outstanding vocalist. His singing has soul, and his silky tone combines classic and modern R&B with sultry overtones. Being familiar with Gilfillian’s other work, I wanted more from Love You Anyway. But keep it real and more like “High.”
Love You Anyway
Label: Chrysalis Records
Release Date: April 7, 2023