Lately I’ve found it quite challenging to find any new artist that breaks the mold of mundane, content-lacking music that is so popular now. It seems as if today’s pop culture music lacks any form of emotion and soul.
Recently, I stumbled upon an up and coming artist by the name of Allen Stone. His new self-titled album, “Allen Stone,” is a refreshing change of pace. It most certainly isn’t the thoughtless, techno driven club music you hear on most radio stations. Upon my first listen, my belief in the mindless direction of today’s music was substantially reduced.
Allen Stone is a singer and songwriter from Washington. At first glance, you wouldn’t guess such amazing vocals could be produced from such an odd looking character. Wearing his trademark oversized glasses, long hair and unique style, Stone not only produces a soulful sound, but he also incorporates thought-provoking lyrics within his music. The combination of music with substance and an amazing range of vocals allows for a unique experience for the listener.
Stone’s music has a slightly funky feel to it. It isn’t quite as funky as the old greats like Parliament or George Clinton, but the instrumentation reveals Stone’s affinity for funk. What I find most interesting about Stone is his voice and the passion that you can almost feel through the speakers. His range is incredible and when Stone lets loose, you can feel the soulfulness in his voice. The first single from his album, “Unaware,” showcases these talents rather well.
The album will leave you with a wide variety of feelings throughout. Tracks such as, “The Wind” and “Your Eyes” are slow-paced, harmonic and mellow, with a jazzy feeling. There are upbeat tracks that have a faster pace, like “Sleep” and “Say So.” “Last To Speak” is the definition represents the true meaning of a song with substance. It tackles various issues from homosexuality and religion to racial indifferences and biased politically-motivated media.
The album seems to have a good balance between songs. Some elements of blues, jazz and funk can be found in almost every track. These elements only provide a backdrop for the distinctive sound that Stone brings to the table. One theme reigns true throughout: the soul in Stone’s voice can be felt in each and every song. It just isn’t something I typically feel from any of today’s new artists. The album is absolutely worth checking out.
Photo courtesy Sticky Stones Records