What Do You Think Next Incarnation Of Soul Music Will Sound Like?
In an interview with DJ-turned-crooner Mayer Hawthorne, the Village Voice's Jason Newman states that the singer "may seem an unlikely to choice to help usher soul music into its next incarnation" because he's, well, white and he's allegedly breaking the rules. He's a good singer, sure, and has a sound that fits into the loose definition of soul that floats around in the ether of both this interview and the ongoing debate about what is and isn't soul music. And though it could be easy (indeed it is tempting) to delve into issues of race here, what about the music?
When I listen to someone like Mayer Hawthorne I don't hear anything remotely akin to progression. I hear doo-wop tinged harmonies over hip hop beats and singer whose vocals are closer to average than anything. Not that he's unlistenable or anything, and I'm sure he's totally up front about his indebtedness to those who sang soul music (much better and with more nuance) before him, but come on. There's nothing wildly innovative or even all that exciting about what he's doing in the genre.
And then I realized that after all these false starts and the piles of wishful marketing stinking up my speakers that I have no clue what I expect the next incarnation of soul music will sound like. So, SoulBouncers, you tell me: What's next for soul music? Who do you think is really pushing soul music into a new phase? And, what does that phase sound like?