Genres and eras collide agreeably in Mayer Hawthorne's new record.
Mayer Hawthorne glides towards west-coast music with Where Does This Door Go
Where Does This Door Go
Andrew Mayer Cohen’s third album is a potent example of how environment can affect one’s creative output. Born in Michigan, the gifted singer/musician better known as Mayer Hawthorne made his name by mimicking that state’s great musical heritage, notably the Motown sound. Hawthorne has now relocated to Los Angeles, however, and this new record is also a radical departure toward the west coast: music to watch yachts by. Where Does This Door Go is “the album I always should have made”, he suggested recently, and it sees the once left-field performer firmly embrace the blue-eyed soul of 1980s crooners such as Daryl Hall and Michael McDonald. Indeed, Crime – his bold attempt at Californian G-funk, featuring the Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar – is curiously evocative of Christopher Cross’s mawkish 1980 ballad Sailing. Genres and eras continue to collide agreeably. The influence of the co-producer Pharrell Williams is evident on several heady contemporary grooves, Jessie Ware adds a lounge-smooth backing vocal to the dirty bass line of Her Favourite Song, while Hawthorne’s hugely versatile vocals are a joy throughout. A perfect summer listen.
* Si Hawkins
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