Album: José James, Blackmagic (Brownswood)

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The Independent Culture

Sounding more confident, soulful and sexy than on his debut The Dreamer, NYC vocalist José James teams up with hip nu-jazz producers including Flying Lotus and Moodyman on 13 original tunes where the minimal backings emphasise his debt to Marvin Gaye rather than Gil Scott-Heron.

Some of the more up-tempo tunes struggle, but slow jams such as "Lay You Down" and "Save Your Love for Me" are perfect late-night grooves, taking the handclap model of D'Angelo's "Feel Like Making Love" as the basis for a whole style.