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We Plug to You… Allen Stone

Hey guys! Happy New Year! And yes I know its well into 2012 but this is my first post of the year hence the pleasantries! Anyway getting right into it, the artist that I will be plugging to you is none other than the very talented and peculiar looking Allen Stone. I personally feel like this is an awesome feature to start the New Year with and before I get into Mr Stone’s background, I’m going to set the mood with this very awesome song! It’s a fun, upbeat and simple simple number released back in 2010 and while this wasn’t the first song I heard from Allen Stone, its now one of my favorites and just one of those ones that get your feet tapping, I also think its smartly written… But alas, all this rhetoric will sound like gibberish to you till you hit the play button and enjoy, here’s “Another Break Up Song”…


 

The first time I saw him perform this song was at last year’s Sundance Film Festival and I just thought “WOW, this dudes voice is just out of this generation”! There’s so much Soul in his voice and what’s even more “WOW” and sort of crazy about it all is that when you see him, you totally undermine what he’s capable of. The pipes on Allen Stone are definitely what got me hooked and the fact that looks can actually be deceiving! In fact I’m pretty sure I might have to show you thisvideo of Allen on Youtube so you can have a go at trying to match the look you’re seeing to the voice you’re hearing.

 

24-year old Singer/Songwriter Allen Stone hails from the small tiny city of Chewelah in Washington where he started off singing in church at a young age as the son of the pastor – he basically grew up singing gospel until he reached his late teens. In an interview, he mentioned that secular music was not allowed in the house and that he had to sneak records in to his room. One of the first secular songs he heard was Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” and he immediately fell in love with Stevie’s vocal tone and style of singing. This would explain the incredible tenor notes he is able to hit so effortlessly! He’s been compared to the likes of the legendaryPrinceRobin Thicke (before his Evolution album) and Maxwell. Personally I think he sounds more like James Morrison and sometimes like Musiq Soulchildwhen he’s hitting those high notes beautifully (shivers down my spine I tell you!). Currently unsigned, his self-titled and self-released sophomore album Allen Stone peaked at number two on the iTunes R&B/Soul Chart – a mean feat in and of itself.

 

What I really love about Allen’s music is the personal conviction and social message his music and thoughtful lyrics tend to convey and while his retro style of music has been likened to a few of his inspirations from the late 60’s and early 70’s likeMarvin Gaye and Bill Withers, the comparison or the likeness between Allen and these legends also extends to their penchant for social messages.
“Unaware” – from his latest and self-titled album – is the first song I heard from Allen and even before the lyrics and the message behind it hit me, I totally fell in love with the song. At first you think it’s a love ballad but you listen a little closer and you hear “Every day the deficit grows // You spend more than you own // Papa always said to me, keep a close eye on your authority“. When asked about this track, Allen Stone mentions the Occupy Wall Street protests as a source of inspiration for writing this song. “Unaware” speaks about how the world has become heavily materialistic and how the economy has basically gone to the dumpster. The Soulful arrangements and injections in this track make you automatically think it’s an R&B type love song which is great because it draws you in and is able to give the song’s rather poignant message a much bigger audience. Watch out for those out of-this-world falsetto’s he hits after the bridge, pure class!

 

The next awesome tune from Allen Stone that I will be plugging to you is a song titled “Satisfaction” also from his latest album Allen Stone. Personally, what I love about this song is the instrumentation that kicks off the song and how Allen’s vocals beautifully join and blend in over the guitar and drum arrangements! There’s just so much energy in this song, it almost sounds like the sort of track Maroon 5 would do! A generally bad ass tune for anytime of the day! You really hear that raggedy soulful texture in his voice on “Satisfaction” and I love love love the live band milieu – makes me just want to jam with them!

The last song I will be plugging from Allen Stone is titled “Your Eyes” and is also off of the Allen Stone album. This one is a beautiful feel-good record with an amazing old school feel that I can’t help but fall in love with! It is so soulful that it even sounds like something “easy breezy” that you would play at a family BBQ on a Sunday afternoon. The song speaks of that annoying love you have for someone that no matter what they do, one look into their eyes makes it all good again. This track also reminds me of something out of Justin Timberlake’s first solo album but with a bit more Soul or maybe it’s just me. Have a listen and you decide!

Allen Stone is an awesomely talented dude that you really need to pay attention to and what I love about him is his sincerity, consistency and how true he stays to his sound and style of music. Not only is he true to his music, he also believes in getting a social message out there via his music – even from personal experiences – which I think adds a bit more truth and depth to his talent. His sound is authentic but still manages to be current at the same time, it is neither overshadowed by gimmicks nor is it over-produced. This is music that is good to listen to for musical dexterity and for its lyricism and I have to say that I am truly excited about Allen Stone and relieved to have somewhere to run to, to satisfy my very frequent Soulful cravings! If you liked what you’ve heard so far then make sure you purchase the Allen Stonealbum and peruse the rest of the songs on there PLUS you can check out his debut album, 2009’s Last To Speak and while you’re at it, download his two EPs of live sessions and recordings – Take One Session Vol. 1 and Take One Session Vol. 2.

Purchase: Allen Stone – Last To Speak (iTunes) // Allen Stone (iTunes)

Keep Tabs on Allen Stone: Facebook // Twitter // Website

Jade O

 

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