A Strange Arrangement [Explicit]
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A Strange Arrangement [Explicit]

September 8, 2009

Also available in CD Format
Song Title
Prelude [Explicit]
A Strange Arrangement [Explicit]
Just Ain't Gonna Work Out [Explicit]
Maybe So, Maybe No [Explicit]
Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin' [Explicit]
I Wish It Would Rain [Explicit]
Make Her Mine [Explicit]
One Track Mind [Explicit]
The Ills [Explicit]
Shiny & New [Explicit]
Let Me Know [Explicit]
Green Eyed Love [Explicit]

Product Details

  • Original Release Date: September 4, 2009
  • Release Date: September 4, 2009
  • Label: UNKNOWN
  • Copyright: 2009 Stones Throw Records
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 34:41
  • Genres:
  • Format: Explicit Lyrics
  • ASIN: B002LS4M9E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,645 Paid in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 Paid in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reinventing R&B 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you for your lack of irony. 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
4.0 out of 5 stars It ain't Motown but it'll do in a pinch... 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
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't stop playing this album 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A STRANGE ARRANGEMENT
Published 1 month ago by Tab
5.0 out of 5 stars dancegrooves and soul
mayer is fresh and new has a a goldenvoice bet he's a household name soon? watch out mayer's bringin the new year!!!
Published 2 months ago by darius draper
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
His music takes me back to the sixties. I can listen to him all day. Highly recommend this CD. Excellent
Published 3 months ago by nanawabbit
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Incredible artist! Produced and played virtualy all the instruments for the entire album. Has a very oldish soul vibe, with a small touch of R&B and hip hop. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Derek S. Moreira
5.0 out of 5 stars A tasty blend...
Masterful. Mayer Hawthorne presents his own take of Blue-eyed soul infused with the Motown heritage. I look forward to future additions to his pay list.
Published 4 months ago by jazz geek
5.0 out of 5 stars Mayer Hawthorne may be the most talented and original new artist in...
This CD has something for everyone. Retro 60s,70s R&B ,soul. The song "A Strange Arrangement" sounds like and should become a timeless classic.
Published 6 months ago by Mark Sanchez
5.0 out of 5 stars This Guy Is FULL of Suprises.....Trust Me!!
This is a PERFECT example of "don't judge a book by it's cover". OMG. This guy "looks" like a stone-to-the-bone dweeb, but he sure fooled me! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Motown roots
His music is very good. Motown roots make any music good. He is very talented but should leave the vocals to someone else or share vocals.
Published 8 months ago by Paula Morton
5.0 out of 5 stars Groovin' to Hawthorne
I was introduced to Hawthorne just recently and wanted to listen to one of his CD's. I love the style of this native Detroiter !! Read more
Published 9 months ago by Maureen Richmond
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the listen
I confess I like all these young white tenors, to a point. Remy Shand made a good album for Motown, and Robin Thicke has written some other very good songs, if you like him riffing... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Baboomaroonie
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