STONES THROW RECORDS / RATING: SOUNDS GREAT / RELEASE OF THE WEEK
Tuxedo returns with Tuxedo II. The long-term project of veteran crooner Mayer Hawthorne and established producer Jake One took off back in 2015 as their self-titled debut granted a surprise hit in “Do It” as well as a host of other perfect instrumentals for the bedroom, introducing themselves to the world as the laid-back, smooth talking version of Run the Jewels. The second addition to the Tuxedo discography looks to cement their place as a solid source of feel good RnB, and it certainly does that in a big way.
The Fux with the Tux EP released earlier this year gave an indication of what to expect from the new album and fortunately it did so without giving too many of the hits away. “Fux with the Tux” kicks off the record with a high-tempo, disco ball opening with Mayer Hawthorne crooning out all of the hooks and lines to bring back the familiar vibes of Tuxedo. This momentum extends throughout the record, as “2nd Time Around” and “Take a Picture” maintain the high level of production and sing-along choruses to get everybody settled in to have a good time.
Hawthorne and One stick to the lovestruck theme throughout Tuxedo II, but remain conscious to add variation to the material in order to keep things fresh. The Michael Jackson-esque “Back in Town” focuses more on having a good night rather than keeping eyes on the one it’s lusts after, there’s an a Male/Female dynamic that allows “Shine” to spark bright, and of course the “Scooter’s Groove” interlude scatters itself through the tracklisting to deliver a short burst of groove.
Second time around Tuxedo has done proud with this new record. Tuxedo II explores the sounds and directions introduced on Tuxedo and expands on them, discovering new elements and blending them in to the late night club sound that encompasses it. It’s a record that establishes Tuxedo as a great act and also establishes itself as a superb listen too.