Aaron Frazer: Introducing review – Heartache-infused 1970s soul

Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 05:05

Aaron Frazer is well versed in classic soul and his first solo foray stays true to his roots.  


Aaron Frazer

Dead Oceans/Easy Eye Sound

R&B / Soul

He may have called his debut album Introducing, but Aaron Frazer is no stranger to the music world. As drummer and co-vocalist of Durand Jones & the Indications, the Baltimore native is well versed in classic soul and his first solo foray stays true to his roots.

Despite the fact that acts such as Nathaniel Rateliff and Leon Bridges have dominated this revival in recent years, there are some hugely enjoyable moments here. With Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys on production, Frazer’s tender falsetto is leavened by a moderate grittiness, as heard on the clattering groove of Ride with Me.

Finger-clicking swing

Disregarding his big-name peer’s involvement, this is absolutely Frazer’s show: schmoozy 1970s soul songs draped over a lush palette of strings and brass. You could easily imagine Jackie Wilson or The Temptations tackling the finger-clicking swing of Lover Girl.

Many songs, such as If I Got It (Your Love Brought It), Have Mercy and bluesy gospel ballad Leanin’ on Your Everlasting Love, are devotional tales of passion. Elsewhere, heartache-infused tracks such as Can’t Leave It Alone and the loose strut of Done Lyin’ mix things up, at least thematically.

If there’s a problem with this album, it’s that over the course of twelve songs, both Frazer’s special voice and the soundtrack begin to lose their lustre and become somewhat one-note. Despite that small discrepancy, this is a fine introduction indeed.