Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Review

Tuxedo: Tuxedo II (Stones Throw Records)

Tuxedo II review @bluesandsoul.com

7

6.2

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UK release date 24.03.2017

Blue-eyed retro soul fave, Mayer Hawthorne, dons his Tuxedo for a follow-up collab with fellow funk fanatic, Jake One, for imaginatively titled, “Tuxedo II”. Released once again on US indy label, Stones Throw, and written while touring the initial Tuxedo long player, this latest release is very much business as usual, with the pair picking up ‘exactly’ from where they left off last time.

Production wise, the attention to detail is evident, it’s sparse, stripped back style is both its charm and it’s Achilles heel - if you liked the first effort, you will probably like this too. But, personally I found this effort more self-indulgent than self-assured - more copy (cool) kat than a homage or fresh take on a genre - making it a tad laboured at times - as many tracks come and go with mediocrity.

There are some highlights to be found, tracks such as energetic and playful “Fux With The Tux” (minus Snoop’s input - WTFux?!), “Second Time Around”, “Rotational” and the Atlantic Starr inspired “Shine” set the bar at a decent height but sadly, many of the tracks that follow tend to limbo underneath instead of raising it higher. You can’t help compare Hawthorne’s vocal to the likes of Burno Mars, for instance, who is currently competing in the same market - e.g. “Special” sounds like the B-Side to Mars’ “Treasure”. There are many other comparisons to many other tunes from back in the day - too many. And each time, sadly, Tuxedo II is left wanting in comparison…
Words LEE TYLER

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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