I’m ashamed to admit I would have passed this guy up if I had to gone on name alone. Not to be a jerk, but Aloe Blacc?? Are we really running out of stage names? What’s wrong with Nathanial Dawkins? But, after taking in his magnificient R&B gem “I’m Beautiful” for the first time, I got over my prejudice real quick. This guy’s voice is pure enough to invoke comparisons to Motown legends. His debut, Shine Through has just the right amount of polish (despite being recorded in a makeshift bedroom studio) and draws from a rich array of musical influences, old and new. If most Stones Throw releases reek of chronic (not that I’m complaining, mind you), this joint’s a breath of fresh air. Inhale.
Stones Throw took down the “I’m Beautiful” MP3, but you still get a lovely B-side from the single.