Mayer Hawthorne
Where Does This Door Go


4.0
excellent

Review

by Caleb C. USER (26 Reviews)
July 26th, 2013 | 10 replies | 1,162 views


Release Date: 07/16/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An exquisitely catchy and flirtatious affair with modern soul.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

I can’t think of a more difficult venture than trying to release a falsetto-laden R&B album this year. Not because there isn’t room for such music in the current music landscape, because there clearly is, but rather due to the colossal Justin Timberlake release(s) that are currently the landmark for such excursions. So when putting Mayer Hawthorne’s new LP under scrutiny, its logical (and unfortunate) that the first place your mind moves is towards Mr. Timberlake. Doing so ignores the strengths of Hawthorne’s songwriting and loses what makes this album stand out along side his contemporaries. While JT created a soundscape of diversity throughout his The 20/20 Experience, Hawthorne hones in and tightens his soul jams and lets his vocal prowess do the heavy lifting on Where Does This Door Go.

The album starts off strong with “Back Seat Lover” delivering us soulful electric piano stuttering along with the up-tempo drum beat, calming the way for Mayer Hawthorne’s seductive voice. It’s a bait and switch performed impeccably throughout the album; a lounge-esque backdrop to bring you down before decidedly sexy and powerful vocals pull you right back out of your shell. “Allie Jones” introduces small sampling/looping into the mix, but doesn’t change this essential calming feel that Hawthorne is striving to encapsulate throughout the album. The end product is not influence heavy either, staying away from the standard soul/R&B traps that could really bog down the sound, instead striving for clean, extremely modern stylings that are markedly different from Hawthorne’s previous outings.

Lyrically it is much of what you would expect from any contemporary soul artist, with lost love, club love, young love, and loving life all receiving equal time spent in the spotlight. “Her Favorite Song” tells the story of a love-torn woman getting drunk at the bar only to go back home alone where “she listens to her favorite song and fades away”. Not the deepest sentiment, but with Hawthorne’s knack for emotional delivery, it gains a weight beyond the sum of the words. Similarly, the album winner “Crime” springs to life with a middle-eastern feel before we hear Hawthorne questioning why the police have to ruin their partying. It’s obvious and shallow, but damn it if you don’t feel bad for him as he croons “it’s a crime” into the night. Then when Kendrick Lamar shows up and (reliably) steals the show with a stellar verse, the excellence of Hawthorne’s refrain is ushered back in again with a newfound grounded sensibility.

The emotional resonance that Mayer Hawthorne conjures here isn’t at all like the trippy rollercoaster rides that Justin Timberlake threw us through earlier this year. And that’s fine. Awkward interludes aside, Hawthorne attempts to extract more from each note that leaves his lips than JT does, and we get a much different experience for the effort. While it may not be the most diverse outing and each chorus doesn’t transform and amalgamate several hundred times before seeing its way to the door, Where Does This Door Go is an exquisitely catchy and flirtatious affair with modern soul.



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user ratings (9)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
iswimfast
July 26th 2013



1286 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hello friends. here's Crime:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqBwzWMt6DI

feedback is always appreciated. if you find a mistake somewhere let me know my normal proofreader is
sick so i had to do it which is terrible news.

Digging: A Sunny Day in Glasgow - Sea When Absent

Cygnatti
July 26th 2013



21350 Comments


yeah it's unfortunate that this guy and similar artists are so quickly compared to JT, but like you said, doing so seems so natural and logical, but it's not really fair to anybody.

that said, this guy has never done anything for me. actually all of those artists similar to JT like robin thicke or michael buble have never done anything for me.

iswimfast
July 26th 2013



1286 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

im normally in the same boat, but this guys sincerity seems to make up for my normal trepidation.

henryChinaski
July 26th 2013



2719 Comments


Need to listen to this in full. I saw his performance of 'Her Favorite Song' on Fallon which was awesome. Great review.

Digging: The Tidal Sleep - Vorstellungskraft

henryChinaski
July 26th 2013



2719 Comments


Damn, 'Crime' is fu***n good.

iswimfast
July 26th 2013



1286 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it really is. track was the reason I even bothered writing this lol

Ecnalzen
July 26th 2013



6495 Comments


Ah, I was wondering if this was any good. Got it in at work on its release date, but I wasn't familiar with him before this came out.

Crime was pretty cool from the piece of it I heard.

Ecnalzen
July 26th 2013



6495 Comments


"actually all of those artists similar to JT like robin thicke or michael buble have never done anything for me."

I have never heard anyone put Buble and Timberlake in the same category before, lol.

iswimfast
July 27th 2013



1286 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea the rest doesn't quite capture the atmosphere that crime does, but the ideals beyond that are pretty much consistent with it throughout.

DatBeefPudding
September 3rd 2013



1292 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i love the oliver remix of his song her favorite song.

absolutely amazing. as for this album it's pretty good, review is pretty much spot on.



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