On Wednesday, Allen Stone dropped his second self-released album. By Thursday, on both Spotify and iTunes combined, I'd listened to the album eleven times. I think my office mate hates me. I remember one time I accidentally clicked the first song on the album, though I was listening to the fourth or fifth song, and I went back to the beginning of the album. And I didn't even care.
I love hearing this guy live any chance I can get, which isn't as often as I'd like, so undoubtedly the next best thing to hearing him live is listening to his albums. Overall, Allen Stone continues to reflect his trademark impassioned vocals with great lucidity and yet that's hardly the only thing that matters. In terms of Stone's style or musical prowess, while this album does not necessarily profile a major departure from Last to Speak, fans will, at the very least, appreciate the lively, jubilant energy found on tracks like "Sleep" or "Say So". And as long as we have Stone's thoughtful lyricism, I'm not really complaining. Stone is one of the few talented musicians you can take at face value. His sincerity, lyrically — not just musically — is admirable.
Allen Stone singing "Unware", live at NYC's SOB
Stone said in an interview with Billboard that recording this album was "a dream come true". Inevitably it is one for listeners as well. On this album we are treated to members of Raphael Saadiq's band and musicians like Darren Johnson, who played with Miles Davis, and the result is a lush auditory landscape that unfolds like an adventure map in your ears. Listening to "Contact High" or "Satisfaction" with any iTunes visualizer on will convey this exceptionally well.
It will be exciting to see where Stone's career takes him in the next few years as its clear that he has the talent and charisma to venture far into the ranks of the music industry. In its first week of release, Allen Stone descended upon iTunes' R&B Top Charts at number two, which is remarkable for an unsigned artist competing with Chris Brown or Amy Winehouse.
I'm still a fierce advocate of seeing Stone live but until you can get your caboose to a local show, very seriously consider investing $5.99 on this album so deserving of praise, recognition and looped replays.
Check out the entire album on Root Music Player.
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