black background with multicolor tabs on the left top corner with Mayer Hawthorne spelled out in white

For That Special Someone

By Shack Khoza
Music Journalist

Artist: Mayer Hawthorne
Album
: Rare Changes
Release Date
: December 18, 2020
Website
: https://www.mayerhawthorne.com/rare-changes-lp/

Funky Rhythm and Blues is the pure definition for this glorious album titled Rare Changes. The first song “Intro” is only a taste of what this album has to offer: smooth bass lines,  whammy guitar, and graceful piano synthesizers.

 However, the listener immediately feels strong emotions of fascination when “Rare Changes” plays. What carries this song (and the album) to perfection was Hawthorne’s genuine voice! 

The listener would raise their eyebrows in awe of how flawless his alto-level singing chromatically leaps up and down, giving way to a groovy timbre that makes the listener nod their head in serenity.

Honestly, the majority of these songs in this album are perfect for indoor roller skating, preferably with someone you have strong feelings for.

“Who is Mayer Hawthorne?” the listener may ask. To answer your question, he is a Jewish-American singer, songwriter, audio engineer and producer. More specifically, he is a superstar who doesn’t ask for anyone’s help when writing or creating songs.

He’s also a multi-instrumentalist, a self-taught individual who plays all the instruments on each of his tracks. Throughout his career, he has been working with different media teams for both TV entertainment and music platforms but chooses not to participate in group member band because he prefers to perform alone.

What’s significant about Hawthorne is that he is one of the very few songwriters that doesn’t request any celebrity guest features to hyphen his songs and albums. Only he is responsible for every chord, beat and rhythm that listeners hear on YouTube, Spotify and television networks.

The central theme of this album is love, and the song that best emotes love is “M.O.” The first 30 seconds of this track emits romance in the air.

The delicate whammy guitar,  lightweight bells and soft keys of the grand piano remind the listener of a certain someone they’re in love with. Then, as Hawthorne begins to sing, the listener imagines how beautiful and attractive their significant other is and remembers all the romantic adventures they’ve gone through like going to the drive-in theaters, walking on the beach or cooking at home.

The lyrics of the chorus precisely explains how the listener strongly loves their person. “I’m starting to feel a certain way about ya,” and “I’m not letting go”  ignite the next level of their relationship, either by asking them out on a date or potentially being engaged.

This magnificent song best represents couples who have strong love and emotions for each other, and cannot wait for what is to arrive in their future.

There is a wide variety of instrument features throughout this entire album. Each track has a certain memorable feature that makes the listener remember what the song is known for.

Some examples are “The Game,” which features a brass and bass guitar scalar melody that uses sharp, staccato articulation. The next track “Over,” highlights two different frequencies of electronic keyboards by utilizing both quivering, shock chords and short, single-tone chords.

And “Chasing the Feeling” presents violin suspensions in a waltz-like meter. These chosen instruments are not used by a lot of R&B artists because it’s complex and time-consuming.

It would take a lot of effects to decide which instruments and their soundwaves sound pleasant to the listener’s ear. However, Hawthorne’s concentration of which instruments to use and where to use them exponentially elevates the album because it gives each song a memorable theme.

And because the theme of this album is love, he needs to be very careful that nothing is too loud or piercing since it would ruin the romantic atmosphere.

Single-handedly, Mayer Hawthorne flawlessly delivered a 9-track album that promotes a theme about love and strong emotions. His ravishing voice and instrumental talent have given the listeners pleasure for funky R&B. Above all, Rare changes is a perfect album for anyone to display boundless affection for that special someone.

Featured image via Mayer Hawthorne album cover.

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