Soul artist Mayer Hawthorne’s Man About Town returns to his trademark 60s and 70s blue-eyed soul.
Opener Man About Town continues the laid-back start which welcomes us to explore Hawthorne’s world. It is catchy and enchanting. Single Cosmic Love is proof of his magical falsetto, accompanied by an enjoyable groove produced by live drums. Book of Broken Heart is disappointing as the bass is upbeat and doesn’t match the melancholic lyrics. The chorus is horrifying as he just erratically jumps from one beat to another and the structure fails to differentiate it from the verse.
Breakfast in Bed is supposed to be the highlight of the album; an exceptional combination of slow jams and his cool falsetto. However he sends a bit of a mixed message with the lyrics: “Champagne, strawberry jam / I want you to know who I am / French toast, we’ll do the most / I know it’s got to an end” - it’s like reading a room service menu aloud; it certainly kills the mood and groove when the song is supposed to be about a romantic moment.
Based on the guitar solo in the background, Fancy Clothes is heavily influenced by Jamaica’s Reggae, but it doesn’t really work. The album closes with the funky and groovy Out of Pocket. This was also a disappointment and a bad way to close the album, as it barely left an impression.
Man About Town would welcome listeners who love blue-eyed soul, but for first-time listeners of the genre it’s not very appealing.