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Autre Ne Veut Anxiety

Posted on the 06 March 2013 by Thewildhoneypie @thewildhoneypie


R&B has made its way into the mainstream — ok, it made its way into the mainstream in the 1960s. What I mean is, true R&B is cool again. With the likes of The Weeknd, Drake and Frank Ocean, the genre has grown up into a sleazy, drug-addled and emotionally aware 20-something. Autre Ne Veut’s sophomore full length, Anxiety, follows in the same path that D’Angelo started on 20 years ago. The songs are modern classics with slurred grooves and an emotionally raw bedroom feel.

Arthur Ashkin, the man behind the assumed named Autre Ne Veut, combines the silky, snaking beats of R&B with the electronic breeziness of new age. The resulting sound, though, is nothing like what you’d hear in a dentists office. In large part, this is because of his exceptionally strong, vein-popping voice. Ashkin reaches for and leans into every note, giving the songs an incredible power or heart-wrenching vulnerability where needed. From one track to the next, his falsetto goes from being sexy to feeling like an exposed nerve, making the album all the more captivating.

His voice, coupled with a certain darkness that juxtaposes jumpy electronic production with undeniable, slinking beats, forces the album to yo-yo between emotional extremes — it’s all over the place in the best possible way. Nowhere is this more apparent than the single “Counting”. With instrumentation and a beat that seem straight from the vein of The Weeknd’s codeine-infused dance music, Autre Ne Veut adds on blaring horns and high frequencies that immediately leave you on edge. The track is simply tonal whiplash that succeeds in creating exactly what the album title promises, anxiety.

As a whole, the album is a masterwork in mood and tone with quick moves from sleek and sexy to off-putting often coming within the same verse. It’s another spectacular work that succeeds in moving the genre even further.

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