Where Does This Door Go

On his first two LPs, Mayer Hawthorne revived Detroit- and Philly-style soul with the fumbling charm of a nerd who finds himself in the spotlight. Here he attempts glittery club sounds, but soul remains his natural habitat. Standouts like "The Only One" balance slickness and melancholy; low points feature robot voices having orgasms. Once a low-key Casanova, now he wants to rock all night. From modest goals come modest returns.

From The Archives Issue 1188: August 1, 2013