Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

MAYER HAWTHORNE

A Strange Arrangement

2010-04-10

Born and raised in Ann Arbor and in the shadows of Motown, 29-year-old Mayer Hawthorne looks like a junior accountant, not the reincarnation of all of the Miracles singing "Tears of a Clown." But the kid is following in the footsteps of his R&B idols with a debut that is all soul falsetto and harmonies, augmented by piano, drums and horns. These tracks do bring to mind Smokey Robinson, as well as Teddy Pendergrass (remember "If You Don't Know Me By Now"?) and the Chi-Lites (remember "Have You Seen Her?" and "Oh, Girl"?). Now Mayer Hawthorne is no Smokey Robinson and that's telling on some of the higher-pitched tunes but he's got the formula down pat and the songs (newly written by him, with most of the instrumentation and singing by him) sound right out of 1969. It isn't fair to compare anyone to Smokey on smooth-factor-falsetto anyway. Check out "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out" (#3), "Maybe So, Maybe No" (#4), "Your Easy Lovin'" (#5) and "Make Her Mine" (#7). Michael J. 04/10 R-Soul

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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