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Top Tracks: HIRA, Craze and Hoax & A.K. Paul- “Eve”

HIRA-EVE

At this point, Jai Paul fans are sort of resigned to the idea that the enigmatic R&B auteur might never release an official album (myself included). So any morsel, no matter how small, from the Jai Paul orbit, is cause for celebration.

In this case, it’s a collaborative effort from his brother A.K. Paul, Hira and Craze & Hoax. Like Jai’s work and like A.K.’s “Landcruisin,” “Eve” is some retro-futuristic R&B shit that reorganizes the genetic code of what R&B can be. Prince is a touchstone that comes up with the Paul brothers but this is Prince if he was singing from the stage of Taffey’s night club in Blade Runner. It’s the Purple One tempered by a bit of vaporwave. Some of the sentiments, such as “You’re my angel” sung in silky falsetto vocals, are as old as the form. But the music is manifestly different. Guitars rip through “Eve” and then scram. Bass rumbles are critically inconsistent. Synth lines move from the foreground to the margins and back again with little notice. It shouldn’t all make sense together but it does. And as beguiling as it is, it’s also beautiful.

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