There are only a couple projects this year that I haven’t heard cross words about, from anybody. One is J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek — it’s been up-and-down praise from everyone I know, from the most obsessive fanboys to folks who went into it knowing Shatner only as the Priceline guy, which I thought was kind of weird but, hey, it’s great we can all agree. And I’m really not trying to compare the two, but the other is Mayer Hawthorne, who’s been having the exact same effect.
Whether or not you get into the whole neo-soul revival that’s been kicking around the last few years, try giving the kid a chance. With his debut on Stones’ Throw, A Strange Arrangement, he’s not only paying his respects to the greats, but he’s doing something new with the sound without dragging the good Motown name through the dirt. This is for the music fans and the casual listeners. It’s not often you get them dancing to the same tracks.
Pair the kid up with my favorite remix-masters this year and you’re left with something that’s just a little extra-special: