By Anita Stewart, Tampa Correspondent
THE FUN RISES, THE FUN SETS by Van Hunt
Album Release: May 4, 2015
Van Hunt, originally from Dayton, Ohio is a master with the “layering” of his unique sound. He has Grammys under his belt and plays most of the instruments on his recordings in addition to producing and writing the tracks. Dreamy smooth lyrics, Prince-like vocal harmonies and lush instrumentation recall the 70’s and some of the classic greats like Curtis Mayfield and Sly Stone. Other newer neo-soul influences would be Bilal, John Legend, D’Angelo and Maxwell. This is a melodic chill-out album that approaches funk and neo-soul with brand new concepts and daring experimentation. Hunt does a perfect melding of genres in this, his fifth studio album. The listener will hear the crossing of pop, rock, R&B, soul, funk, glam rock, psychedelia and classic Motown influences. This writer will be listening again and again.
Vega (stripes on) — this song is reminiscent of Sly and the Family Stone, stripped down with funk riffs and staccato vocals. Groovy!
Old Hat –– soul and funk, reminded this writer of Curtis Mayfield.
Pedestal — trippy psychedelia rock, cool effects, Prince-like harmonies, nice acoustic hook repeating throughout.
Teach Me a New Language — Very Prince-like vocal harmonies.
(let It) Soak (n) — R&B and Funk groove, a bit of nostalgia.
Puddin’ — Double entendres here…cute lyrics, fast moving song.
She Stays With Me — A mix of rock, acid trip and funk…spacey keyboards and steady bass line predominate this cut.
Headroom — A soulful ballad, beautiful piano and violin accompaniment for the lyrics. No funk in this, just a beautiful love song.
French for Cloud (cstbu) — A love song with a slow funk groove, pleading, longing, angst with nice hooks.
Rub my Feet (suddenly) — Another love song, this relationship is more serious and necessary.
Emotional Criminal — Starts out slow and several times hits a crescendo with instrumentation and special effects. Highlights are the keyboards.
If I Wanna Dance With You — Superbly crafted slow love song, beautiful vocals, melodic piano and cool guitar hooks.
A Woman Never Changes — Van Hunt’s homage to Woman. Violins, drums, keyboards. This could be a Top 40 hit.
The Fun Rises, The Fun Sets — Slow, dreamy and melodic. Beautiful vocals with falsetto harmonies.
“Vega (stripes on)”