By amurillo | November 17th, 2010
In the last twenty years, Orange County has been lucky to produce some pretty popular artists. Some have achieved quite a lot of commercial success, but lack the soul and raw talent of OC-raised Aloe Blacc. Good Things is Blacc’s latest album and possibly the one that defines him as a soul/R&B force to be reckoned with. Each song holds its own and it’s easy to go through the entire album multiple times before realizing it.
The title track “Good Things” grooves like the Jackson 5, with Blacc’s vocals softly pulling you in and ending with a joyous call-response chorus. The entire album is perfect for any situation, as the instrumentation provided by in-house production team at Truth & Soul Records is top-notch.
The organ, horns and pizzicato’ed strings on “If I” are mixed beautifully over Blacc’s crooning; the down-tempo beat instantly puts you in a nighttime mood. (One of the song’s best parts is the acapella finish.) “Politician” is another standout track, not just for the production and stellar instrumentation but for the message Blacc conveys. As the most socially aware song of the album, Blacc confronts the hardships and injustices many people are going through: “Now what I’m saying / Is things ain’t right / Whose decision is it anyway? Yours or mine?”
Blacc gets straight up sexy with “Femme Fatale,” an ode to “women who’ll break your heart in two.” Though it’s the music that shines in this song, it’s also reminiscent of 70s-era James Bond soundtrack: seductive, exotic, and a little dangerous. The most soulful track of the entire album (and my personal favorite) is “Take Me Back.” With marimba that tickles your ear and a bass line you can feel, Blacc nails every chord and channels Marvin Gaye with his impressive vocal range.
It’s clear to see why HBO made Blacc’s hit-single “I Need A Dollar” the theme song to one of their newest sitcoms, How to Make It In America. With an insanely catchy chorus and beat — not to mention we all could use some more dolla-dollas – it was the perfect choice not for only the show, but to announce to the music world that we have a new soul star on our hands.