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R&B - Released January 1, 2009 | Unknown

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Soul - Released May 3, 2010 | Discograph

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R&B - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal Records

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R&B - Released September 16, 2016 | Vagrant Records

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R&B - Released October 28, 2016 | Vagrant Records

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R&B - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal Records

Booklet
Mayer Hawthorne already had three solid albums of retro-soul in his back catalog, so with album number four, it's just natural that he spreads his wings a bit. The Ann Arbor-bred, L.A.-based singer was quoted as saying he "truly did not give a" you-know-what during the recording of the album, and while that may prepare the listener for a guest appearance from Korn, awesome dubstep bass drops, and twenty-minute psychedelic jams, Where Does This Door Go is nothing of the sort. Filled with the kind of funk that gets in the shoulders more than the rump, the album is a cool stroll from the '60s Motown Hawthorne has always adored to the fern bar/yacht rock of the '70s and on to the '80s when Hall & Oates were Private Eyes and allowing new wave into their life. It's a sleek and small landscape that seems heavily influenced by the Neptunes, so it's no surprise that Pharrell shows up for a handful of productions, including the almost-Aja-outtake "Wine Glass Woman," which reaches for the wit of Donald Fagen, but lands on Robin Thicke ("Wore your Christian Dior/But you shatter into pieces on the floor"). That's all well and good if a breezy feeling is what's required, and as the album gives up infectious odes to friendship ("Reach Out Richard") and goofball lyrics like "I'm programmable, I can go all night" ("Robot Love"), all while doubling down on the Michael McDonald ("The Stars Are Ours" is like the bearded one jumping between his Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan gigs), it's a pure, lowercase joy. Still, being so featherweight and Timberlake means "Crime," with Kendrick Lamar, comes off as gated community fluff, and while the lesser cuts are fun in context, they'll stop mixtapes cold with their bridge-to-nowhere concepts (the title cut), or come off as too cute/too clever ("Small Clone"/"Designer Drug"). Wherever this door does go, it is a place that calls for boat shoes, a relaxed attitude, and a returning fan's patience. ~ David Jeffries
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R&B - Released September 8, 2017 | Stones Throw Records

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R&B - Released January 1, 2014 | Universal Records

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R&B - Released January 1, 2011 | Universal Records

When your debut album is released on the taste-making underground label Stones Throw and declared fantastic by both John Mayer and Kanye West, you’re unbelievably cool and completely under the microscope. Such is the story of Mayer Hawthorne, the Ann Arbor, Michigan resident who early on did a lot of hip-hop things and such, but for the purposes of his second album and debut for the major label Universal, he’s the neo-soul singer with a gifted voice who uncannily sounds like a ‘60s-era Temptation given the 2011 ability to drop an F-bomb. That may sound like Cee Lo Green, and there’s no doubt that How Do You Do stands in the shadow the Goodie Mob member who got there first, but this particular bespectacled singer looks like a Wall Street intern, making his Motown jones all the more unexpected, and for some, suspect. On top of it, he retains a crate-crawling nerd’s love of nostalgic soul that’s very Stones Throw, so expect some overly authentic numbers where the adherence to an aesthetic is an arguable obstacle. That said, it’s a testament to Hawthorne’s songwriting ability that this wall is easily scaled after one or two listens, and that the man sounds more natural and loose than on his debut might be this album’s greatest asset, making the vulgar drops and other nods to the present feel less mannered than before. New avenues are explored as Snoop Dogg is invited to croon, not rap, on the almost Timberlake “Can’t Stop,” while the jaunty, finger-popping “Dreaming” offers a well-written, surreal vision of the world coming to an end, challenging stuff and well executed within Hawthorne’s retro rules as well. When you add “The Walk” as his greatest songwriting achievement to date, a loving anthem for Detroit called “A Long Time,” plus a bunch of crowd-pleasing moves that come straight out of the Hitsville USA rule book, it's easy to stop being befuddled by Hawthorne’s love letter to the past and start craving it. ~ David Jeffries
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Soul - Released February 9, 2010 | Stones Throw Records

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R&B - Released August 10, 2018 | Republic Records

Soul - Released April 1, 2017 | Vagrant Records

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Soul - Released July 12, 2010 | Discograph

Soul - Released May 3, 2011 | Stones Throw Records

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R&B - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal Records

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House - Released May 6, 2016 | Boogie Angst

Soul - Released November 24, 2009 | Stones Throw Records

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Soul - Released April 1, 2017 | Vagrant Records

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R&B - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal Records

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R&B - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal Records

Mayer Hawthorne already had three solid albums of retro-soul in his back catalog, so with album number four, it's just natural that he spreads his wings a bit. The Ann Arbor-bred, L.A.-based singer was quoted as saying he "truly did not give a" you-know-what during the recording of the album, and while that may prepare the listener for a guest appearance from Korn, awesome dubstep bass drops, and twenty-minute psychedelic jams, Where Does This Door Go is nothing of the sort. Filled with the kind of funk that gets in the shoulders more than the rump, the album is a cool stroll from the '60s Motown Hawthorne has always adored to the fern bar/yacht rock of the '70s and on to the '80s when Hall & Oates were Private Eyes and allowing new wave into their life. It's a sleek and small landscape that seems heavily influenced by the Neptunes, so it's no surprise that Pharrell shows up for a handful of productions, including the almost-Aja-outtake "Wine Glass Woman," which reaches for the wit of Donald Fagen, but lands on Robin Thicke ("Wore your Christian Dior/But you shatter into pieces on the floor"). That's all well and good if a breezy feeling is what's required, and as the album gives up infectious odes to friendship ("Reach Out Richard") and goofball lyrics like "I'm programmable, I can go all night" ("Robot Love"), all while doubling down on the Michael McDonald ("The Stars Are Ours" is like the bearded one jumping between his Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan gigs), it's a pure, lowercase joy. Still, being so featherweight and Timberlake means "Crime," with Kendrick Lamar, comes off as gated community fluff, and while the lesser cuts are fun in context, they'll stop mixtapes cold with their bridge-to-nowhere concepts (the title cut), or come off as too cute/too clever ("Small Clone"/"Designer Drug"). Wherever this door does go, it is a place that calls for boat shoes, a relaxed attitude, and a returning fan's patience. ~ David Jeffries