Monday, February 20, 2012

How Do You Do

by Mayer Hawthorne

Having listened to Mayer Hawthorne's first album, A Strange Arrangement, I wouldn't have thought that the artist could get much slicker, but then he gives us How Do You Do, and I have to rethink that position.

For this album, Hawthorne left Stones Throw Records (I'm not going to pretend to care about the particulars of label allegiances; I just know that his first album was with Stones Throw, and this one is on Universal), so there is probably a little more money being tossed at this project.  I don't see how else Snoop Dogg would show up for one track, 'Can't Stop', with his signature smooth voice.

Anyway, aside from potential budgetary excess, this is very similar to the first album.  Hawthorne works with smooth songs that evoke a simpler time where boy bands sounded like women as often as not, and songs were about simple themes.  Except, when listening carefully, it's clear that Hawthorne is not living in the past.  His thoughts on relationships and economic hardship are modern and often critical, but ultimately very sing-a-longable, and quite lovely.

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