Monday, October 17, 2011


On Mayer Hawthorne's first major label effort, How Do You Do, he proves that he is not part of a trend. The classic Motown sound that provided the blueprint for his self-produced independent debut, A Strange Arrangement, remains, but is joined on How Do You Do by music reminiscent of late 1960s California pop and the best work from the likes of Steely Dan and Chicago. Hawthorne brings that fun, neo classic bedroom soul sound he did so well on Stones Throw with him – pretty much picking up right where Strange Arrangement left off! The Mayer Hawthorne story was a strange one from the start – white producer/DJ crafting real deal moody, sultry throwback soul under a pseudonym that gets him signed to Stones Throw. The best news, really, is that he's still doing what we loved on the Stones Throw LP and singles. Skirting throwback Motown and indie soul conventions, but winking ever so slyly at them, making strings sound scratchy, warm and well-worn, subtle horns to sooth and stir, his own vocals layered for a group-like effect. Bonus points for his use of the superstar cameo – he brings Snoop Dogg in to SING, not to serve as an obligatory rhyme cameo. Well played, Mayer Hawthorne! Includes "Get To Know You", "A Long Time", "Can't Stop" with Snoop, "Finally Falling", "Hooked", "You Called Me", "No Strings", "Dreaming", "The Walk" and more. (Includes MP3 download of the entire album.) On "The Walk," the first single, Hawthorne plays a man scorned and content with saying, "So long, you did me wrong," to the lady in his life. "A Long Time" is both a brilliant homage to Steely Dan's "Hey Nineteen" and a storied history of Hawthorne's beloved Detroit, followed by a duet - yes, duet - with the incomparable Snoop Dogg on "Can't Stop." Already on tour, Mayer Hawthorne's US dates continue through November, culminating in a pair of shows at Terminal 5 in NYC.

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