A Strange Arrangement


Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. It's all really quite astounding. Neo-soul. Yep. That's what this is. And it's damn good. Soul, neo or not, is soul, and this guy has it.
  2. 80
    At worst, A Strange Arrangement has a couple lulls; at best, it’s one of the most enjoyable records of the summer. Highly recommended.
  3. Mojo
    The pop-soul of Hawthorne's A Strange Arrabgement sounds and feels genuinely convincing. [Oct 2009, p.100]
  4. If anything, A Strange Arrangement will hopefully turn a new generation onto a truly remarkable time in music.
  5. His regretful croon in the debut single, 'Just Ain't Gonna Work Out,' will have the ladies swooning, while 'Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin'' will have listeners jazzed up and aching to cut a rug.
  6. By all accounts, A Strange Arrangement is a potentially star-making turn from a completely unlikely source.
  7. 70
    There’s hardly an original thought here, but with arrangements so expertly composed, who’s complaining?
  8. By layering his naive vocals and harmonizing with himself, he conjures a forceful richness, but when it’s just his unadorned voice, aching its way through a melody with audible strain--say, at the top of 'Shiny & New,' where he slithers in and out of the correct pitch as if drunk--his structure begins to collapse.
  9. Under The Radar
    Hawthorne's incorporation of the odd breakbeat upgrades his brand of soul into the present time--without turning it into Neo-soul. [Fall 2009, p.58]
  10. With his thin but sweet croon, Mayer Hawthorne floats over the ballads, but the two best tunes are uptempo.
  11. Hawthorne clearly has the ability to integrate and recreate his influences in his own compositions; it would be revelatory if he added more of his own signature sounds and soul into the music.

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