Southern California soulman Aloe Blacc, who sang lead on Avicii's 2013 smash "Wake Me Up," will probably be enjoying some nice royalty checks for years to come – but while every college student in the hemisphere surely recognizes his voice, not nearly as many fans know his name. Blacc's major-label debut tries to change that with a set of hooky soul-pop tunes layered with folk-tinged acoustic elements. Highlights like the boisterous "Can You Do This" and an EDM-free mix of "Wake Me Up" (just in case anyone forgot he's that guy) are plenty radio-friendly, but the songs never quite add up to a cohesive album. At least he's still got that smoky vibrato.
From The Archives Issue 1204: March 13, 2014