In a genre that belongs to such crooners as Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and Otis Redding, authenticity is a requirement. Over the years, many have imitated and borrowed from these artists, but when you come across the real thing you recognize it instantly. Anduze is a soul artist to the core, no doubt about it. But it’s soul done his way…a modern brand that seems to reflect the diversity of his island upbringing. Growing up on St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands certainly contributed to Anduze’s musical imagination. His myriad of influences is so vast that it leaves critics unable to deem him directly comparable to anyone else, a refreshing antidote for today’s derivative music world.
Where It Leads
Midway through 2009, Anduze released Closure, a 15 song compilation about the relationship that he admits defined his life in many ways. It was an album you could make love to, break up to, and make up to. Now, two years later, Anduze is set to release his follow up, a 5 song EP entitled, Where It Leads,and judging from the shift in subject matter, he has clearly put the hardships of love behind him and moved on. While swapping out his signature ballads for a more aggressive slant, Anduze once again finds a way to captivate his audience through his gift of storytelling.
The EP begins unapologetically without warning, no count off, and no musical intro. Instead, the lyrics and music leap out simultaneously as Anduze starts in on a tale about his life and the year he was born in “1977”.
The next song, “L.A. Reggae”, just might end up on everyone’s summer jam mix. A well-crafted reggae tune woven together with elements of pop and soul, this is clearly the most radio friendly song of the collection. And let’s not forget catchy! You will undoubtedly be singing the hook by your first listen’s end.
With a feel good approach reminiscent of Gnarls Barkley, “Social Butterfly” is Anduze’s self-proclamation of being addicted to the Hollywood nightlife, followed by “State of the Union”, a bold, toe tapping ensemble that evokes the political awareness and overall musical landscape of Marvin Gaye’s provocative 70’s material.
The EP concludes with “Positive Revolution”, a song Anduze has been performing live for nearly a decade that now finally has a home, falling perfectly in line with the theme this go around. It almost lends way to being a country song with its twangy guitars and fresh lap steel solo. But as usual, Anduze makes every genre that influences him fit squarely into his own styling.
The introspective nature of these 5 songs certainly adheres to the mature listener, but their contagious energy and nifty construction transcend creed and demographic. The progressions, horn arrangements, and instrumentation throughout, give this release a very polished feel. After teaming up with Civil Defense Music, Anduze again joined forces with Closure engineer, Nolan Westcott, who is also credited as the EP’s co-producer. Where It Leads remains to be seen, but we hope it leads to many more just like it!
The latest album, entitled Closure, weaves the listener through the nuances of a relationship gone awry. That being said, it’s not your typical sappy break up record. For the most part, the tone and tempo of the songs gleam with hope and the projection of moving forward. Anduze’s sultry voice resonates with a sympathetic confidence that leaves a unique impression. Using beautifully crafted lyrics, each song tells a story that reels us in for an up close and personal look at the artist…and at times ourselves. The subject matter is relatable, like a conversation with someone where you find yourself not speaking because you agree with every word.
Finding “closure” is not easy, we all know that. But as he searches for his, Anduze also manages to inspire us to look for ours in whatever capacity we may need it…proof that music truly can be life changing when it comes from the soul.