CD A Strange Arrangement (CD 4680358),
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A Strange Arrangement
2. Strange Arrangement, A
3. Just Ain't Gonna Work Out
4. Maybe So, Maybe No
5. Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin'
6. I Wish It Would Rain
7. Make Her Mine
8. One Track Mind
9. Ills, The
10. Shiny & New
11. Let Me Know
12. Green Eyed Love
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 722302
Haircut; Todd Simon
Personnel: Mayer Hawthorne (vocals); David Moyer (flute, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Todd M. Simon (trumpet); Hoagie Haven (flugelhorn); Sgt. Harvey Pepper (French horn).
Audio Mixer: Haircut.
Recording information: The Barbershop, Los Angeles, CA.
Authors: Gilles Peterson; Justin Timberlake; ?uestlove.
Photographer: Jeremy Deputat.
DJ/producer Andrew Cohen's debut album as Mayer Hawthorne, A STRANGE ARRANGEMENT, is a wonderful, joyous delight from start to finish, managing to be both a nostalgic-sounding soul facsimile and a fresh urban retro dance listen all in one package. "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out" is here, along with other jaw-dropping gems like the Motown-like "Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin'" (it's hard to believe it isn't the Temptations doing this song), the quiet storm-like "One Track Mind" (with its aching echoes of Smokey Robinson) and "The Ills" (which sounds like a haunting, wry, and simply gorgeous lost Curtis Mayfield track). Cohen wrote all but one song here, played most of the instruments, and then mixed everything with an ear to delivering a refreshingly spare sound, with even the horn arrangements stripped to the bone, giving these tracks an odd, muted sharpness. Then there are the vocals. They're extraordinary, as if Cohen were channeling Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, David Ruffin, Smokey Robinson, et al., through his own middle to high tenor.Soul, neo or not, is soul, and this guy has it.
Rolling Stone (p.81) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[The album] re-creates the sound of Motown classics and other falsetto-laden AM-radio gems, complete with sparkling, horn-specked production..."
Spin (p.80) - "Hawthorne is trapped in a time-stop circa 1976, and his immaculate debut is replica music, constructed and buffed to a high sheen."
CMJ - "[T]he entire album is slathered in a good layer of golden syrup, with harmonies laid on thick and solid pop song structure spread all over to make things easy to folllow....Another fine example of blue-eyed soul -- wholesome and hearty..."
Q (Magazine) (p.112) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "His first offering flirts with hazy psychedelia, bittersweet Norther soul and funkadelic ballads."
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Stones Throw STH 2230
EMI Music Distribution
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