Elliott Macauley - Retro (2013)

Elliott Macauley
Elliot Macauley Retro.jpg

The resources available to the professional musician at any level these days have made their lives a bit more organized and convenient. Compared to twenty years ago, the outrageous advancement of digital recording technology helps the artist/producer fashion their musical wares with quicker ease and with higher definition than ever. More musicians are also turning to the Facebook and Twitter phenomena (and sometimes MySpace; yes, still) to easily network with their cohorts and communicate with their fans, whether showing appreciation for their support or fully promoting their products. Soul stylist and rising star Elliot Macauley has certainly taken advantage of all the social media luxuries and utilizing digital friendlier tools to smoothly transition into his unique artistic and production platform.

The resources available to the professional musician at any level these days have made their lives a bit more organized and convenient. Compared to twenty years ago, the outrageous advancement of digital recording technology helps the artist/producer fashion their musical wares with quicker ease and with higher definition than ever. More musicians are also turning to the Facebook and Twitter phenomena (and sometimes MySpace; yes, still) to easily network with their cohorts and communicate with their fans, whether showing appreciation for their support or fully promoting their products. Soul stylist and rising star Elliot Macauley has certainly taken advantage of all the social media luxuries and utilizing digital friendlier tools to smoothly transition into his unique artistic and production platform.

As a multi-gifted producer/musician, the U.K. native was afforded plenty of time to build his own studio while playing many years of paying obligated dues in music school and with sideman gigs. In 2011, his production debut was finally realized with the acoustic R&B trio, OuTfiT. Meanwhile, fellow soul man, Cleveland P. Jones who reached out to Macauley through Facebook, led to a musical partnership that is included on Macauley’s self-released solo digital debut, Retro.

Macauley’s production savvy, tasteful arrangements and an exciting vocal cast including Jones, elevate Retro into an enjoyable experience. Though most of Retro concentrates on a ‘90s British soul vibe, there is also an intriguing acoustic piece and a vibrant electronica excursion. The funk is fully brewing on the opening track, “Hey Boy,” from the brass kicking riffs to a bass popping climax—quite a turnaround from OuTfiT’s mellower original version. Spirited lead vocals and those contagious Incognito-esque rhythms propel “Move with Me.” The slightly compositional complexities of “Everything” evoke a calming mood, while the understated vocals reveal a slight restlessness in holding down a love relationship. “Autumn is Here” intoxicates the ears with a instrumental, down tempo jazzy bliss between the sweeping keyboards, horn fills and delicately soulful guitar. As for that Macauley and Jones duet, their electrifying performance on “Mama’s Baby Boy” pays the highest respect for those hard working, encouraging mothers.

Retro undoubtedly rocks with Macauley’s enriching soulful personality and then some. What is more key, Macauley’s investment and understanding of social media’s strengths and patience in refining his production values on Retro leads to a win/win situations on behalf of music’s technological shifting future.

Other Notable Songs:  “Watching You” and “Crying Shame.”

Vocals:  4.0 stars
Music:  3.5 stars
Lyrics:  3.5 stars
Production:  3.5 stars
SoulTracks Call:  Highly Recommended

By Peggy Oliver    

 

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