Bringing Back the Oldies in His Own Way
Mayer Hawthorne’s latest album Man About Town takes a strut down memory lane back to the golden decades of ’80s and ’90s pop. The album does an excellent job of capturing the essence of those decades and Hawthorne truly embraces classic styles with his music. There are trail crumb hints of Hall & Oates, Rick Astley and Wham! throughout the album, making it hard to believe that it was released in this year.
After the short gospel number “Man About Town,” the album kicks off with “Cosmic Love,” showing off Hawthorne’s smooth falsetto vocals with a light drumbeat. “Book of Broken Hearts” produces a very nostalgic Hall & Oates sound with catchy beats, creating some groovy anticipation for the listener. The smooth saxophone in “Breakfast in Bed” will complement a lazy Sunday morning snuggled up under the sheets.
“Lingerie & Candlewax,” given from the scandalous title, is a snazzy little number that uses the jazzy combination of trumpets and piano chords very well. A bit unexpected from the flow of the album, “Fancy Clothes” incorporates a new flavor of reggae into the mix. The song isn’t too heavy on the reggae beats as far as to be a Bob Marley type, but has more of a UB40 pop mixed feeling into it. “Get You Back” features a very Boys II Men smooth slow number accompanied by violins and symbols. The album ends with the interesting number “Out of Pocket,” featuring beat-boxing. “Out of Pocket” is quite an intriguing track and may take some time to become accustomed to.
Overall this album has established Mayer Hawthorne to truly be a ‘Man of the Town’ – Man of the Town might be one of his best works. Those especially familiar with the tunes of the ’80s and ’90s will find this album to be a reminiscent treat with a modern-day touch. The diversity of the album along with the track titles have a sense of familiarity that makes for a great listen for a wide range of moods. It’s an album that will most likely win over hearts of the disco generation.