Release Date: May 3, 2011
Record label: Stones Throw
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Dance-Pop, Electro
James Pants's self-titled third album is a mess - a big, beautiful mess of contradictory influences and odd juxtapositions that makes way more sense than it has any right to. One minute he's channelling the creepy synthetic rock 'n' roll of Suicide, the next he's going for psychedelic R&B, and then it's on to some laid-back 80s pop. Despite the randomness, a consistently warm and muddy sonic haze connects all the disparate impulses into a surprisingly cohesive album.
James Pants plays a trick we-- the listening audience-- are probably becoming more and more familiar with all the time: making you feel like you're hearing a record that was made 25 years ago but simultaneously making it impossible to figure out what that record is. It's VIP-lounge funk, it's video-game grain, it's John Hughes movie balladry put through the wash, it's goofy electro-pop, it conjures visions of the keytar-- it's a variety of styles that no one band would've synthesized in the 1970s and 80s but that end up sloshing together in Pants' fuzzy, one-man-band memory of his own record collection. (And yes, I'll relish in taking the opportunity to call him "Pants" from here on.
Pants is an ambitious artist just waiting for a soundtrack opportunity. Nick Levine 2011 James Pants is as difficult to pigeonhole as an oversized parcel. In his official biography, his record label describes the 27-year-old multi-instrumentalist – Mr Singleton to the tax man, in case you're wondering – as a "purveyor par excellence of that unmistakable 'fresh beat' [sound]: 80s soul, electro boogie, early rap, new wave and post-punk disco".
Tonya Baker Gospel routinely transcends its 1980s clichés: audience-tested vocal strength and trust in the power of crescendo trumps synthified slickness and outdated rhythmic feeling. On “The Live Encounter” (Kingdom), Tonya Baker, a singer in her 40s from Dayton, Ohio, whose profile has ….