(SMG Music Group)
Chocolate Soul is exactly that. Well, it's Eric Stinnett's chocolate soul, and that means jazz-driven R&B ditties peppered with hip-hop-oriented sprechgesang. The arrangements are jazzy throughout, relying minimally on computerized effects, which I can respect. The six tracks on this album will certainly appeal to ladies who like to jam slowly at home while imagining Denzel or whoever is the brother du jour. The standouts are the funny/sexy "Whiplash" and the acoustic-guitar-driven, positively messaged "Jack of All Trades." The bonus track on this album makes effective use of a percussive doo-wop style, rounding out this debut nicely. Stinnett gigs semiregularly throughout South Florida either solo or with his hip-hop fusion outfit Dangerflow. Check him out, cuz he wants to quit his day job.
Tom Gorrio has officially become South Florida's hardest-working man in the biz. How? Perseverance and talent. This collection of ten tracks was recorded in 2004 and has been made available now to coincide with this past summer's appearance at the Athens Popfest held by Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records. With Baby Calendar and Call It Radar behind him, Gorrio's new energies are focused on his solo work. This is a good starting point, and fans will see why his formula works: simple and catchy. This git can twang his guitar pretty good, and his voice ain't bad either. Opener "No Stars Here" gets it going with bubblegum pop before it gets a little mellow punk punch halfway through with "Converse, Plugs and Studded Belts," followed by a little español on "In a Spanish Voice." Nice acoustic stuff.
www.fitzroy-music.comA soothing blend of organic and digital landscapes are the ground upon which local singer Fitzroy travels. The 11 tracks on this debut album, which again went under our radar, are filled with topnotch arrangements, and they'd better be, since Fitzroy (real name: Jason Jeffers) occasionally makes his living writing about music. Fans of hip-hop, reggae, samba, bajan jams, and even electronic music will find something to dig. The album is lush on orchestration, with an even tone throughout showing some level-headedness and artistic patience. "So Low (Paradise Theme)," "Badman," and the local hit "Can't Keep Waiting" are repeat faves.
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