Album: Mayer Hawthorne, How Do You Do (Universal Republic)


Michigan-born Hawthorne (real name: Andrew Mayer Cohen) made a great auteurist debut for Stones Throw, A Strange Arrangement, whose delicious retro-soul came mixed with an exquisite sadness that suggested Brian Wilson.

His major-label follow-up wisely keeps the retro aesthetic, starting with a striking Stylistics homage, "Get To Know You", though worryingly the influences now appear to include ELO as well as Hall & Oates. Stick with the soul, son.