Wednesday, July 13, 2016

George Nozuka-Alone (2013)


Thinking about some of the many other young talents who have found a solid foothold in the popular music mainstream, Canadian r&b singer George Nozuka comes to mind, whom I've come to adore ever since getting in a real good listen to his debut album, "Believe", a few years another young singer who I've come to adore and was intrigued by ever since listening to his "Believe" album. Committing myself now to place a solid foothold myself in all of his musical accomplishments, I—at last—got around to checking out one of his more recent releases: 2013's "Alone" which, to my knowledge, has only been available in digital format. Already the latest personal nominee for your next 'Slow Jam Of The Night' is the opening title track—a very sexy song that's the window into all of the delicious things George desires to do with his girl once they're in private quarters, touching her body in all the ways she likes it. Setting the tone for all of this sexing up is the thumping 'heartbeat' rhythm against the dreamy, trippy ambiance, the romantic setting momentarily interrupted by the guest rapper known as Jhyve. Besides that bit of intrusion, this is one song to get all good and cozy with, long after the sun goes down and until the sun rises anew the morning after. The sexing up gets a lot steamier when George hooks up with Jhyve a second time on "Touch It". There's so much happening in the bizarre production on this one—from the high-pitched riffs that slide into the thumping electronic beat to the rising techno arrangement before the main hook—that it's just as much of an instrumental music lover's paradise as it is a club goer's paradise. But beneath it all, listening to George asking the girl to 'let me touch it' over and over is the main thing happening here. Perhaps it's the girl named Valentina that he was pleading to on "Touch It"; on the album's sixth track, he's repeatedly calling out her name while the heavy hip-hop club sound slams down upon your ears in the background. I've decided that I adore the soulful Canadian r&b singer the most when his voice is fluid and silky smooth, as he best showcases on the earnest offering of reconciliation that is "Win Your Love Again", the delightful listen that is his confession about a girl's love being fake and artificial on "Plastic Doll", the elegant attraction that is "Heaven" (isn't it true how all of this songs with 'heaven' in the title always turn out to sound so.....heavenly?) and "I'm Jealous" (the backing cinematic instrumentals make for a lovely backdrop and complement that silky smooth voice of his). There's a couple of places where I just sat back and enjoyed the ride: "I'm Reaching Out", plus the glitzy electronic cacophony that is "Pay Attention" which, after you get used to his disguised monotonic, robotic vocals and the other synthesized special effects, turns into quite a catchy four-minute piece. The latter half of the album features a lot of themes dealing with heartbreak, spearheaded by the short piano piece, "I Am Broken" (a very nice place to soak in his tender, soulful vocals, I must say) and supported by "What You Didn't Say", then "I'm Ill" (I'm digging his creative way with words here as he performs the self-diagnosis on his lovesick mind) and "Two Broken Hearts". But there is no 'resting in pieces' for George after breaking out with these tunes of heartbreak; the refreshing closeout number "Back To Life", where his words of restoration and revitalization create a sense of joy, peace and new purpose within himself, picks all of those broken pieces back up and makes him whole once again:

1. Alone [feat. Jhyve]
2. I'm Reaching Out
3. Win Your Love Again
4. Pay Attention
5. Touch It [feat. Jhyve]
6. Valentina
7. I'm Jealous
8. Plastic Doll
9. I Am Broken
10. What You Didn't Say
11. Heaven
12. I'm Ill
13. Two Broken Hearts
14. Back To Life

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