Aaron Frazer is a key member of Durand Jones & The Indications, a group whose position within the current pantheon of soulful voices with a vintage sound is assured. Stepping out in front of the mic, ‘Introducing…’ is nonetheless a daring debut, a gorgeous listen that drops the tempo and ups the feeling.
Tapping into lush early 70s songwriting while also doffing his cap to gospel and doo-wop, Aaron Frazer has crafted an album that sits perfectly with the sweet soul and low rider scenes, with his own lyricism marking him out from the crowd. Sombre and personal, there’s also a celebratory streak that makes ‘Introducing...’ a truly potent song cycle.
Recorded in Nashville with Dan Auerbach at the controls, the musical mileu that surrounds Aaron Frazer draws on a guest cast that links members of the original Memphis Boys with the Daptone crew, adding a vintage vitality to his work. ‘If I Got It (Your Love Brought It)’ gets straight to the point, while the gorgeous ‘Over You’ features perhaps his finest vocal on the record.
Heartwrenching ‘Bad News’ finds Aaron relishing the spotlight as a means of soulful communication, while ‘Girl On The Phone’ swivels on his deft control of melody.
Love is a perennial theme on the record, moving from ‘You Don’t Want To Be My Baby’ right through to closer ‘Leanin’ On Your Everlasting Love’. In being so open, though, Aaron Frazer suggests a kind of risk, an unexpected bravery – it’s a world away from passionless indie rock environs, aligning itself with a school of romanticism that seemed to shutter long before his birth.
Ultimately, ‘Introducing...’ thrives because of how natural it feels – a record as authentic as the dust on Dan Auerbach’s control booth, it places Aaron Frazer as a golden-voiced embodiment of this modern soul age.
Words: Robin Murray
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