Man About Town is Mayer Hawthorne’s fourth studio album and was released on April 8th this year. This may only be his first release since his 2013 album Where Does This Door Go, but he has been a busy man. The first few singles of Man About Town constitute what appears to be a small trilogy, which was set up with the first single off the album “Cosmic Love”. The current single is “Love Like That” and happens 'to be continued'.
Mayer Hawthorne is an American singer-songwriter, producer, DJ and multi-instrumentalist from Ann Harbor, Michigan who relocated to Los Angeles, California in 2005. His career started in 2008 when he signed with Stones Throw Records and after the success of his first album, he got offered a deal with a major music label. The music he makes has been described as neosoul, with a “throwback style” reminiscent R&B and soul music, but it also incorporates some funk, pop and smooth jazz elements. Some might even say they hear glimpses of the famous Motown sound in his records. His repertoire ranges from slow ballads to up-tempo tracks, and the subject matter mainly revolves around his perpetual quest for love and / or conquest of women.
Since his debut, he has been a prolific artist and along with his four studio albums, Mayer Hawthorne released The Big Knock in June 2014 with artist 14KT as Jaded Incorporated. In March 2015, he formed the group Tuxedo with Jake One, which released an eponymous album. He has also collaborated with artists such as Bobby Caldwell, Booker T Jones, Madlib, Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg, and toured, amongst others, with Erykah Badu and the late Amy Winehouse. When asked about his influences, he mentions the likes of Curtis Mayfield, Barry White, Isaac Hayes or the late Hip-Hop artist and producer J Dilla.
Man About Town features ten tracks with groovy bass lines, eccentric vintage synthesizers, funky guitar riffs, and drums cast in the mold of his previous releases. Detractors may point to a lack of innovation, but it also feels like that was not something Hawthorne was striving for. This album feels like he leaned into his strengths, simply proving he is very good at what he does. Man About Town spreads positive energy with its lyrics and swinging tempos, whether Hawthorne croons about his next conquest or yearns for lost love.
Mayer Hawthorne is currently touring the U.S. until July and there is no information available as to when he will be back in Europe. As a consolation, have a look at him performing the song “Fancy Clothes” off Man About Town live on Jimmy Kimmel. Also, keep an eye out for the third part of his singles trilogy video release!