After almost three years of anticipation and excitement, fans can now finally listen to the entire self-titled debut album “Tuxedo” by Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One, an album almost eight years in the making.Mayer Hawthorne, a 36 year-old soul singer and producer, and Jake One, a 38 year-old hip-hop producer, first met in 2006 in Seattle.They both exchanged mixtapes and quickly realized that they shared a common love for the old funk and disco of the late ’70s and early ’80s.Since then, the duo has slowly but surely pieced together a 12 track album that takes you back in time into the world of smooth soul and disco-funk.
The album kicks off it’s journey with hip-hop influenced “Lost Lover”, Jake’s synthesizes and strings immediately stand out and Hawthorne’s vocals set the tone for the rest of the album.Soon after the album starts, “R U Ready” takes over, and whether you’re ready or not, it instantly gets your body moving and is definitely one of the best cuts on the whole record.
“Watch The Dance” keeps the dance-y vibes alive and soon develops into hip-hop influenced groove “So Good”, a lyric and melody that put you in a partying kind of mood.The album really only slows down for one track, an Isley Brother worthy ballad called “Two Wrongs”.It’s lyrics are sung in Mayer’s classic falsetto and Jake Ones synthesizers are meshed with a classic guitar riff to finish the melody.“Tuxedo Groove” comes along right away, Jake Ones synth-heavy instrumental that keeps your head bobbing for its two and a half minute duration.
“I Got U” is the album’s stand out love song of sorts.It’s vocals have Hawthorne stretching his vocal range to the near breaking point with lyrics that have him happy and glad to be in love.This performance is followed by the latest song on the album, “The Right Time”, a personal favorite of Mayer’s and possibly the funkiest track on the record.
For their ninth track, Hawthorne and One pull out a powerful horn section and group of back up vocalists to perform an effortlessly funky jam called “Roll Along”.This is smoothly ended and “Get U Home” is soon heard succeeding it.Many consider it Mayers best vocal performance and it comes with a magnetizing ending performed by the horn section.
To finish off the album, “Do It” and “Number One” deliver a one-two knock-out punch.“Do It” is undoubtedly a centerpiece for the entire record and deserves to be a top 40 hit this summer.Hawthorne and One give it their all on this track nothing else on the album makes you groove the way that “Do It” does.
For the grand and funky finale, “Number One” leaves you wanting the record to never end.“Number One” is the ultimate tribute to one of Hawthorne and Ones g-funk and hip-hop heroes, the now deceased Nate Dogg.It is essentially a cover of Nate and Snoop Dogg’s track “Ain’t No Fun”, just given slightly different lyrics, but the same synth heavy g-funk sound.It was a great way to end the album and leaves you wanting more.
From the very first track, it’s easy to see that the albums main theme is dancing, the widely unknown duo keeps your body moving and recreates the disco vibes of the 70s/80s almost perfectly.The album stays true to the sounds of old while also making it sound brand new.This album is perfect for anyone who enjoys soul and or hip-hop, it’s insanely funky and the production is out of this world.I have no regrets purchasing this album and I don’t think you will either.
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