Love Like That
Label: Vagrant Records
While Man About Town is rooted in the sweet soul music upon which Mayer Hawthorne’s reputation rests, the retro-tinged crooner shakes things up by infusing his sound with all manner of sumptuous art-pop moves. The result is his most varied set to date. “Fancy Clothes” finds Hawthorne marrying slinky, Steely Dan-style guitar licks to a softly purring reggae gait, while “Book of Broken Hearts” boasts Philly soul-bred harmonies cascading over Timmy Thomas’ analog drum machine. One of Hawthorne’s most endearing qualities has always been his fondness for saccharine love jams, and this time around the singer gives us two of his most audacious in “Lingerie & Candlewax” and “Breakfast in Bed.” The latter -- a wildly luscious “morning after” ballad -- shows off Hawthorne’s unique knack for simultaneously sounding passionate and cheeky.