Mixed bag is nothing special

Mixed bag is nothing special

Soul artist Mayer Hawthorne's third studio album, Where Does This Door Go, sees the singer straying from his trademark "throwback" sound, and incorporating more modern elements - with mixed success.

Opener Back Seat Lover, launches into laid-back guitar solo, smooth harmonies and subtle synthesiser sounds, but as the album progresses, hip hop influences are added, with disc scratching and pitch lowering in The Only One. One of the highlights is Hawthorne's collaboration with star rapper Kendrick Lamar on Crime, a phenomenal combination of cool falsettos and intense raps.

Another track that makes an impression is Allie Jones, which has a very vintage sound and a warm, passionate tone.

Reach Out Richard and All Better are both well-composed emotional songs. But despite the beautifully melancholic lyrics, the weak vocals fail to carry their meaning.

Where Does This Door Go features great songwriting and upbeat tunes, but there is a lack of cohesiveness between tracks. Hawthorne's daring endeavour - to deviate from his signature vintage sounds and mix them up with modern tempos - deserves kudos. If you can overlook the sometimes weak vocals, it will grow on you.

YP Rating: 3/5



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