Colton Ford - The Way I Am by Aaron Cobbett 01

Apparently it’s not all about appearances. After venturing into the adult same sex entertainment industry, showcasing his mature good looks and chiseled body, the talented Colton Ford began pursuing a solo music career with the release of a debut and cover album. For 2013, the artist unleashes his third full-length effort, The Way I Am, featuring a strong dance sound and collaborations with Nervo and Chris Willis. Preceded by the catchy lead single, “Let Me Live Again”, the brand new album puts an emphasis on the uptempo, club-ready production as Ford focuses on his ever-improving vocal abilities and meaningful lyrical content.

Released as the lead single, Let Me Live Again created positive buzz prior to the album’s release date. With an infectious, pulsating beat, the artist sings about how his new found love is allowing him to experience life all over again. “You do me so right, straight through the night, given the chance I gotta take it,” Ford sings on the sweet yet sexual pop track.

The bedroom subject matter continues for most of the track list including “Look My Way”, where the artist proclaims to let go off all inhibitions and any sense of control with a sense of confidence and seductive vocals. On “Get To You”, featuring labelmate Ultra Nate, the approach is a bit more straight forward. “I hear your body calling me, no need to make a sound, I’ll do you even better, the second time around”, he sings just as the chemistry between the two artists starts to heat up.

Fighting to be one of the dominating male forces in the dance genre, tracks such as “Can You Feel It” will only help Ford in his quest for worldwide exposure. The artist is expressing every feeling to his love interest, wondering if they feel the same. “The Music Always Gets You Back” is a club-ready piece and one of the few full-fledged pop/electronica/dance tracks found on the new effort. The artist’s vocals and thumping beat will surely bring all listeners to the dancefloor.

One of the album’s brightest moments just happens to be the title track, “Just the Way I Am”, with Ford’s deep vocals becoming the main highlight. “You say you don’t mind, you say it’s alright, you say you’re gonna love me till the end,” he sings during the hook on top of fun, jazz-sounding production. The song does a great job at including a catchy beat without overshadowing the artist.

While ballads have never been Ford’s strong point, he tries once again for “All My Love”. Production is scaled back as the artist sings of giving his love just what they need to get them through the night. With lustful lyrics, the track becomes a sensual slow jam to play in the bedroom. The eleven-track album closes with “Alone”, the slowest moment on the effort as the artist once again shows a different side of his personality. While Ford deserves applause for stepping out of his comfort zone and expressing emotions buried deep inside, as a closing track it does not do much.

The Way I Am is not the perfect release, some problems should be noted in terms of songwriting and over emphasis on production, but as a third album it does keep Colton Ford moving down the right direction in his recording career. The vocals represented on the effort are strong and intriguing, definitely show improvement and make an effective case for the artist’s eventual dance takeover. Ford has never been afraid to be provocative and break boundaries, and even though he does just that on most of the tracks, a few fail to make the impact of his past efforts.