Release Date: Mar 18, 2016
Record label: Ghostly International
Genre(s): Electronic, R&B, Pop/Rock
In recent years the flamboyant multi-instrumentalist pop star has faded to a distant memory. Gone were days when one artist was responsible for everything committed to tape. Gone were the days when the credits read 'Written, produced, arranged, played and artwork designed by …'. But just like Nirvana t-shirts, political stand-up and Sixties-style jangly guitars, it’s come back into fashion.
Twenty-three year old Bryndon Cook isn't a child of the '70s or '80s, but you'd never guess that by listening to his work as Starchild & The New Romantic. He carries himself with the air of someone who's studiously thumbed through his parents' record collection. He cites Prince and Sade as primary influences, and his stage name references P-Funk mythology.
On a technical level, there’s much to admire about Crucial. Singer-songwriter Bryndon Cook has here produced a stylistically accomplished and well-thought-out collection, a delicious exercise in computer soul. To say that it’s overproduced would be missing the point. Its overproduction is the point.
Yes, there’s more to R&B in early 2016 than Anderson .Paak. The Los Angeles dynamo has been rightly lionized for blending hip-hop, pimpish soul, and skate-park pop on his second album Malibu, following his breakthrough contributions (among far bigger names) on Dr. Dre’s swan song, Compton. But ….