CD Van Hunt (CD 926872),
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2. Seconds of Pleasure
3. Hello, Goodbye
4. Down Here in Hell (With You)
5. What Can I Say
6. Anything (To Get Your Attention)
9. Her December
10. Hold My Hand
11. Who Will Love Me in Winter
12. Out of the Sky
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 35233
Chris James; Kevin Guarnieri; Howard Willing; Bill Molina; Melissa Mattey
This is an Enhanced CD, which contains both regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files.
Personnel: Van Hunt (vocals); Jermaine Rand (acoustic guitar); Wendy Melvoin, Chris Whitehead (guitar); Terry McMillen (harmonica); Daryl Richards (alto saxophone); Curtis Whitehead (tenor saxophone); Nolan Smith (trumpet); Isaac Curtis (trombone); Truth (Wurlitzer piano, Moog synthesizer); Dwight Farrell (celeste); Patrick Warren (Mellotron); Larry James (drums, percussion); Amy White, Ta Ta (background vocals).
Producers: Van Hunt, Andrew Slater, Howard Willing.
Personnel: Van Hunt (vocals); Jermaine Rand (acoustic guitar); Terry McMillan (harmonica); Darryl Richards (alto saxophone); Nolan Andrew Smith, Ray Brown (trumpet); Isaac Curtis (trombone); Matt Chamberlain (drums); Larry James, Lenny Castro, Kevin Ricard (percussion); Annie Stela, Creed , Dionne Farris, Ta-Ta, Amy White (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Dave Way; Tim LeBlanc; Peter Mokran; Melissa Mattey.
Recording information: Capitol Records; House Of Blues, Memphis, TN; Sage & Sound Studio, Hollywood, CA; Sunset sound; The Sound Kitchen, Nashville, TN; Westlake Audio; Zac Recording.
Arranger: Van Hunt.
With too much "rhythm" and not enough "blues," contemporary R&B circa 2004 has become overly slick, commercial, and almost emotionless, no matter how hard the vocalist is expressing his love jones. Which is why Van Hunt's debut is so refreshing. Although the Atlanta-based auteur (he wrote or co-wrote all the songs and plays nearly every instrument) clearly has an early-'70s fixation, his heady mix of Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Sly Stone, and Prince makes for a thrilling and often moving album. Like Stevie Wonder, another obvious influence, Hunt spices his soul with memorable melodies, overdubbing his own backing vocals and singing these hip-hop-free tunes like he's lived them. Lyrically, he's loved and lost -- often he seems on the verge of both when he croons "love without pain would leave me wonderin' why I stay" -- but remains hopeful that true romance is just over the horizon. His vulnerable vocals mesh flawlessly with the smoky musical vibe and each track is near perfect in its balance of funk, soul, and R&B. Not just for those into "quiet storm" bedroom music, Hunt has fashioned a classic R&B album that has as many edgy "Family Affair" moments ("Anything (To Get Your Attention)") as smooth grooves (the string-laden "Precious"). If it had been released in 1978, it would still be impressive. But arriving in early 2004, the disc heralds Hunt as a tremendously talented if hardly groundbreaking artist, with a sure sense of craftsmanship all too rare in his genre. Retro enough to recall the golden age of soul, Hunt's music is so classy and timelessly constructed that he never turns into a caricature. ~ Hal Horowitz
Rolling Stone (4/1/04, p.90) - 3 1/2 stars out of 5 - "[H]e wraps his seamlessly quilted voice around wry, off-kilter lyrics; his skewed views on love and life are wholly his."
Spin (3/04, p.96) - "[F]ull of sublimely janky '80s synths and melodies that jab and slide instead of blowing neo-soul smoke rings." - Grade: B+
Entertainment Weekly (2/27/04, p.96) - "Van Hunt's debut, while more lush and original than recent [neo-soul] offerings...rings refreshingly dark and disturbing." - Rating: A
Mojo (Publisher) (p.108) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[T]his is a remarkably coherent and focused album....There's real substance and soulfulness to be found..."
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EMI Music Distribution
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