Jake One and Mayer Hawthorne return with their first joint project since 2015’s Without Your Love and it has us wishing for a new album.
If there was anything that we had an issue with on Tuxedo’s self-titled debut is that, while the songs sounded good, they were just a little empty when it came to something to hold on to. The songs ended up being fun but inconsequential and it limited the replay value. It seems they may be seeking to rectify now and in the future because this EP finds the balance.
Fux With The Tux, both the title track and the EP as a whole, is fun and sounds like good throwback music, but the lyrical strength increases with each song, making them stick with you longer. The production of each track has a bit of root in the eighties style of R&B, but they are varied in pace and style so that it makes them work as a cohesive unit. The harmonies on the set, which is Hawthorne’s thing, are good and fill out the tracks thanks to their prevalence as the core of two of the tracks. Hawthorne shines as a vocalist as well, giving a varied performance that shows the scope of what he is capable of.
The best song in the set is July. It reminds us a lot of Hawthorne’s breakout third album, Where Does This Door Go, thanks to the stronger lyrics and vocalizations from the singer. Him coming down from that falsetto that he has been employing for the bulk of the Tuxedo tracks gives him some nice gravitas. It also uses its Between The Sheets sample expertly at the end, though there are hints of elements of the classic throughout the track.
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