Album Review | Tuxedo – Tuxedo

WHEN: 03.03.2015
WHERE: Stones Throw Records
LOVE.LIKE.ALRIGHT: LOVE

As a socially awkward white male it should be wrong how much I love a good groove. I have a music taste that stems from watching Josh Homme shake his hips to Jesse Hughes stroking his moustache to Alex Turner’s forever revolving hips and is dashed by the occasional binges of 70s funk and laced with the naughty splash of Chromeo. Despite all of the visuals and the sonic notions of wanting to get down I have unfortunately been blessed with the hip movements of a sink, and am thus unable to defy all social awkwardness and infact dance like a badman.

However I have found another record to add to the above and that’s Tuxedo, the debut self-titled album comprised of smooth crooner Mayer Hawthorne and hip-hop producer Jake One. I genuinely stumbled onto this record thanks to browsing Spotify’s New Releases section and I am so glad I can never stay on my feet, because this record is sexy. Darn sexy.

The duo creates a sound that’s highly influenced by both old school and modern artists which together forms something that is nostalgic but also very new. There are hints of Michael Jackson, Chic, Prince, Kool And The Gang inside while the synth sounds bring forth comparisons to Chromeo. It’s very silky smooth, and very easy to be seduced by its atmosphere. Mayer Hawthorne’s voice is very composed and charming, and I don’t care how much I sound like I’m fangirling right now.

Tuxedo opens up with Lost Lover which features the Chromeo-esque synths laying down a strong bass groove against some drums boosted by percussion and handclaps, and it continues to progress with walls of bass swelling in the background as Hawthorne directs the mix. The track sounds vast with the additions of female backing vocals and synth melodies thrown in too, and it all just sounds incredible. The mid-tempo pace keeps everything control and goodness, it gets the pants tight.

What’s also clear is that each song have their own simple hook to help define their own personality, and while the material is best enjoyed as one long playthrough it is very easy to just check out a song or two. R U Ready’s simple vocal exchange between female and male vocals is very effective and sticks in your head in the most casual way possible and the strong bold delivery of everything in Watch The Dance strikes hard. Even towards the back end of the record the material remains strong as tracks like The Right Time and Get U Home standout superbly, and of course there’s the band’s only hit (at the moment) Do It to look forward to aswell.

Tuxedo is a fantastic debut of a band who seem extremely confident of their sound and what they wanna bring to the musical table, which is good when the sound is trying to be so seductive. It’s like its own little world and you never want to escape, and when it does come to the end it becomes necessary to just start it all over again. It’s a brilliant, brilliant record, and I really hope my dancemoves improve now. For more music reviews, free downloads and lessons in how not to dance check out Exploding Head Syndrome on Facebook and Twitter.
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