Published Jul 16, 2019They won't get props for the most original album titles (Tuxedo III is the followup to 2017's Tuxedo II) but man, can the Tuxedo duo ignite a party. Tuxedo III is more good groove goodness from Detroit blue-eyed soul crooner Mayer Hawthorne and Seattle hip-hop producer Jake One.
Still mining the late '70s / early '80s dance floor sounds of Hubert Eaves, Leon Sylvers III and Chic with bangers like the upscale funk of opener "The Tuxedo Way," and the bubbly "You & Me," the duo still almost uncannily avoid pastiche.
But what's most impressive and surprising is when they slow things down. "Extra Texture" is wine light, quiet storm smooth with a sparkling synth solo courtesy of Dâm-Funk, and "Toast 2 Us," featuring a satin-y vocal turn courtesy of Benny Sings.
The slow jams on the past two Tuxedo albums seemed to rob them a bit of their vitality, but here, they're so finessed they flow like welcome interludes off a packed dance floor. Tuxedo III wraps up with "Close," a duet between Hawthorne and Gavin Turek that channels the effortless drive and analogue synths of mid-'80s Leroy Burgess productions into an irresistible summer boogie jam. (Funk on Sight)