Mayer Hawthorne, 'How Do You Do'
The Los Angeles-based soul singer swings between the sublime and the ridiculous on his second studio album, another homage to the best of classic soul. The sublime: tunes like "The Walk," a grooving, Stevie Wonder-inspired track that hits all the right beats and is catchier than a free credit report jingle. The ridiculous: "Get To Know You," which tries to ape Barry White and falls way, way short. Luckily, the former outweighs the latter, and most of the album is made up of nostalgic and fresh tunes that remind us how just how darn addictive good soul and Motown are. Hawthorne is at his best when he doesn't try too hard to modernize his sound; mimicry is not a mortal sin, and sometimes it makes for a more than satisfactory release.
Official website: http://mayerhawthorne.com/