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A Strange Arrangement

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Audio CD, September 8, 2009
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Prelude [Explicit]0:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. A Strange Arrangement [Explicit] 4:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Just Ain't Gonna Work Out [Explicit] 2:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Maybe So, Maybe No [Explicit] 2:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin' [Explicit] 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. I Wish It Would Rain [Explicit] 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Make Her Mine [Explicit] 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. One Track Mind [Explicit] 2:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Ills [Explicit] 2:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Shiny & New [Explicit] 3:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Let Me Know [Explicit] 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Green Eyed Love [Explicit] 3:52$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Mayer Hawthorne Store


Image of album by Mayer Hawthorne


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Mayer Hawthorne grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, just outside of Detroit, and vividly remembers, as a child, driving with his father and tuning the car radio in to the rich soul and jazz history the region provided. “Most of the best music ever made came out of Detroit,” claims the singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, who counts Isaac Hayes, Leroy Hutson, Mike Terry, and ... Read more in Amazon's Mayer Hawthorne Store

Visit Amazon's Mayer Hawthorne Store
for 3 albums, 9 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

A Strange Arrangement + How Do You Do + Where Does This Door Go [2 CD][Deluxe]
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 8, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Stones Throw
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,412 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

2009 debut album from the Michigan-bred Pop/Soul singer/songwriter. A Strange Arrangement draws from the inspiration of Leroy Hutson, Smokey Robinson and the legendary songwriting and production trio of Holland, Dozier, Holland. At the same time, it revels in raw the sounds of the independent (and often unappreciated) musicians who aspired to achieve a level of success akin to their famous peers. The album is full of original compositions (bar a cover of The New Holidays' 'Maybe So, Maybe No') that underlies a heartfelt nostalgia to the sweet Soul of yesteryear. 12 tracks.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
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2 star
1 star
See all 73 customer reviews
I listen to the samples of the album and fell in love instantly.
I wanted to really listen to it and make sure that it is as good as it really sounds.
John T. Borek
His voice and music is terrific and an artist that I truly enjoy.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Alec Rojas VINE VOICE on September 9, 2009
Format: MP3 Music
The evolution of "neo-soul" and the reinvention of funk and R & B has been the unspoken blessing of the past decade. The slow mutation from Jill Scott to the British throwback queens of Duffy and Amy Winehouse have shown you don't have to reinvent the wheel, just take the old one and paint it a different color. Mayer Hawthorne's debut on Stones Throw Records, thankfully, finds an untapped niche in this genre with great results.

"A Strange Arrangement" isn't your older brothers booty-shaking R & B, your uncle's old Earth Wind and Fire records, or your dad's collection of Al Green. This record has a lot more in common with the Temptations and Otis Redding. Combining Motown soul and funk breaks and instrumentation, Mayer Hawthorne's music owes a lot to the classics and the easy listening sound of the early 60s and their favorite topic: love won and lost. Hawthorne plays every instrument on the record and has been quoted as having to learn how to sing for this record. It is easy to hear why: the melody lines frequently dip into falsetto and sometimes he executes it, sometimes he doesn't. No matter. The effort he pours into it makes up for the lack of training. The title track oozes along with vocal harmonies to create the lushest arrangement (no pun intended) on the record, first single "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out," despite its sparseness of arrangement or melody, just feels great. The horns of the cover "Maybe So or Maybe No" jump out of the record as well.

As a whole, A Strange Arrangement feels familiar and nostalgic in a good way. Of course there are drawbacks to his approach and style. I can't help but wishing Burt Bacharach or Hal Mooney (if he was alive) could toss their arrangements onto these sparse compositions and make them really fly.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Clark on September 13, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had read the reviews, seen the pictures, saw that he was on Stones Throw and all I could think was, great...another ironic artist copping a classic musical genre so he can be funny. I was wrong. Mayer, regardless of his initial motivations, has made a picture perfect piece of undeniable pop music that shines as a reminder of how sorely we need real music back on the radio. I would personally send my "hit" local radio station a dozen roses if they replaced the repetition of things like "Do the Stanky Leg" or the new Lady GaGa single with "Your easy lovin' aint pleasin' nothin" or "Make Her Mine". Also, this album is a great example of proper song constraint. I'd much rather have a 40 minute long album that I listen to on repeat without skipping a song rather than having to cut out half the album to listen to the 3 good songs. Kudos to Mayer Hawthorne and PBW for noticing the possibilities in Mayer's early singles and ponying up the cash for a full album.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David D. Macks on December 8, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a singer/songwriter/bass player in a pretty popular local RnB band I'm always being deluged with albums of "neo-soul" artists that some today think are pretty good, or "the real deal". Having grown up the "golden age of Soul Music" as a kid in New York City I saw and heard every Motown Review, Stax Volt Review and Independent show that came in town to the Brooklyn Apollo, the RKO Alden in Queens and of course, THE Apollo Theatre in Harlem. So I'm just a wee bit skeptical when someone say "this guy's the new Smokey" or "that guy sounds just like Curtis". Pheh...

When I was handed a copy of Mr. Hawthorne's debut album "A Strange Arrangement" I was pretty skeptical. How ever after keeping it in heavy rotation in my various listeneing spaces for a month I paid him the ultimate compliment I can in this age of ripping and running, I came here and bought his album!!! Meyer Hawthorne "gets it"! He understands how to pair a hook with a beat and keep it short. There's not a tune on this albume over 3.5 minutes in length. And while reminiscent of Curtom and Motown his tunes manage to be bright, upbight and soulfull. At times you hear Curtis, especially on "The Ills of the World", other times you hear the Moments on "I Wish It Would Rain", but never ever does it descend into blaten rip off. I enjoy this album immensely, enough to buy it and review it. You could do a lot worse.

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lamar Gray on September 11, 2009
Format: Audio CD
If it weren't for the message board I was visiting, Mayer Hawthorne's debut album, "A Strange Arrangement" would of went unnoticed by me(at least for awhile). Maybe if I had saw it in a year end recap of best albums of 2009, it would pique my curiosity. Luckily for me I didn't have to wait 'til such a time and discovered the album on my own(somewhat).

Prior to the release of the album, I heard samples of the album and was very interested and impressed with the album. Finally once I got my hands on the actual album, I couldn't stop playing it and virtually have not but I have given it a slight rest so I won't wear it out as fast.

The album is very good and in a very surprising way. I love the "Prelude" and the harmonies and how it goes right into the lush title track which is ever so dreamy and nostalgic. I actually like every song but some more than others such as "Shiny and New", "I Wish It Would Rain" and "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out". I strongly recommend this album and it would be a shame if this album gets ignored(which I'm sure it might but hopefully not).

I will even go as far as to say that this is like the male version of Amy Winehouses' "Back To Black" but not quite as dark.
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