Monday, October 15, 2012

#86: Mayer Hawthorne – How Do You Do? (2011)

Hawthorne got a lot of attention for his debut album, ‘A Strange Arrangement’. A big fan of his throwback style was Snoop Dogg, who even collaborated with Hawthorne for a track. This album seems to be a little more modern than his debut but still carries the same overall feel. It’s amazing to think that these are original songs and not covers taken from the era.

A Long Time
The man has style both musically and in the clothes he wears. This song has a little more Hall and Oates in it than Motown; however, it still completely rocks. With Mayer’s trademarked falsetto he can really sing anything and make it sound amazing. He’s hails from Detroit, “Welcome to the motor town, buckle up ‘cause here we go.”

The Walk
I love this track so much I want to burst into a thousand pieces. Not only is absolutely the best track on the album, it’s one of my favorite songs of all time. There’s something about throwback music that’s just awesome, and when there’s cursing in it – it gets bonus points. Not many times have I listened to a track over and over for hours after first hearing it, however this was one. “From the moment I met you, I thought you were fine, but your shitty, fucking attitude has got me changing my mind.” The horns are spot on, the vocals and melody is amazing, the feel is butter, and the lyrics are expertly crafted. It’s a must listen if there’s ever been one. The video’s pretty stellar as well; it’s shot in the style of the A-Team.

No Strings
It’s fluff but it’s got such a groove. Anyone who says, “They don’t make them like this anymore,” clearly hasn’t heard of Mayer Hawthorne. Lyrically (again) Hawthorne doesn’t do anything groundbreaking, but it’s really, really fun music. If there’s any question if Mayer can pull of his sound live, here’s a video: he can. The breakdown to the ending vocals is perfect, it’s such a wonderful cap to such a well written song.

All in all, Mayer Hawthorne is a stud. There’s no doubt in my mind that the best is yet to come. He’s the real deal because he’s got depth. He understands both pop sensibilities as well as the genres he’s putting himself into. Sophomore slumps are for chumps. Mayer Hawthorne ain’t no chump.

Tomorrow's album: Solomon Burke's Rock 'N Soul.

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