Allen Stone – “Unaware - Live From His Mother’s Living Room”
Pairs Well With…Mayer Hawthorne, Stevie Wonder, Aloe Blacc
Allen Stone was a real surprise from last year’s SXSW and his popularity has been on a steady incline since. He appeared as a guest vocalist on fellow Washington rapper Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ chart busting “The Heist,” and has toured extensively throughout 2012 and into 2013. Hopefully he’s got some new songs for SXSW. Even if he doesn’t, Stone has a killer group of original songs and some special live covers to pull from when he hits Austin.
2012 Review: Washingtonian singer Allen Stone doesn’t resemble most singers producing the socially aware neo soul that make up his Self released albums, 2010’s Last to Speak and his eponymous 2011 follow up, and it doesn’t matter. Just listen, close your eyes if you must and when you open your eyes Stone’s distinctive style and fashion will either be endearing or a non issue for you. He’s one of those artists I’ve gotten stuck on in reviewing this group, his name has been on the radar since The 12 artist Macklemore, who Stone has collaborated with, tweeted about Stone appearing on Conan. It’s probably best we don’t do the partial point thing here at Operation Every Band as I could spend hours going between a 9.5 and 9.8 I even have a few times in writing this spotlight. The reason for not going for the 10 is some of his songs are a bit flatter than his more soulful Otis Redding inspired howlers. “Last to Speak” is a powerful indictment of everything from church corruption, the failure of abstinence based sex education, to the media and he even turns the cross hairs on himself noting he’s just “another bitch with an instrument”, wow. It was actually a tough choice between Last to Speak and the catchy Unaware which I woke up singing this morning, but it’s Last to Speak and songs like it that show Stone is songwriting force as well as a soulful voice.
So I’m watching this on VH1Soul right now and it rushed back so many memories.. mane I miss real music. Make you feel some type of way. Push.pull.tear. Can’t stretch it any further.