Van Hunt - S/T

Music Reviews Van Hunt
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Van Hunt - S/T

Dedicating his record “to the pimps, ho’s and hustlers for whom I strive to provide background music,” Van Hunt might give the impression he’s little more than another streetwise poet penning his thug memoirs, but all such contemporary clichés are dispelled by the timeless mixing of soul, funk, blues, pop and R&B that characterize his debut. Having arranged, produced, and recorded the album himself, he makes a decidedly convincing audition, ranging from the bubbling electro-soul of “Highlights” and the surprisingly lush piano balladry of “What Can I Say” to the slinky funk of “Anything (To Get Your Attention).” To be sure, Van Hunt owes more than a few debts of inspiration, as everyone from Prince to Stevie Wonder and Al Green are evoked by his complex arrangements and silky croon, but he arrives at a point few of his contemporaries have reached, translating inspiration into a timeless yet contemporary amalgam. In an era of R&B posers and white-boy soul wannabes, Van Hunt stands out as the real deal.

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