May 5, 2011

Sach O is waiting on the Dusbtep Happy Mondays.

James Blake was too precious, Katy B too inessential – will Jamie Woon be just right in the great Bass crossover sweepstakes? Not quite, but with Mirrorwriting he delivers just as strong an effort as his fellow BRIT school peers, distilling his influences into a smart, alternative take on R&B that plays like a prim-n-proper answer to The Weekend. Granted, that may seem like faint praise but rather than watered down Bass music, Mirrorwriting feels like street-smart pop at its best. Lead single “Night Air” is the immediate standout with Woon’s aching vocal performance floating amidst the astral production and heavy low end. “Lady Luck” may be the best Timberlake song Justin never recorded, bouncing with the energy of classic New Jack Swing colliding with 2-Step and “Shoulda” is the kind of tune made for long car rides. On the down side, things occasionally get a tad too “adult-contemporary” for their own good: “Waterfront” sounds like something my dad might listen to on a particularly mellow day and admittedly, the whole record demands a certain easy-listening mind state: this is not what I’d call challenging music. Still, I’d rather hear Jamie Woon on Adult Contemporary radio than Michael Bolton I guess.

Side note: remember when SEAL dissed Dubstep last year? Let this album stand as proof that SEAL would sound way better with some Bass thrown in the mix.

Listen: