We all know those people (not necessarily over-40s, but most of them are) who go on and on about how “nobody writes songs like in the '60s,” “the lost art and craftmanship of classic rock and soul,” and so on.
Besides displaying astonishing ignorance and lack of curiosity, those throwbacks really fail at saying what they really mean, which is that they only like a very particular type of songwriting and arrangement (nothing wrong with that) and that that arrangement is nowhere to be found in pop radio nowadays (that's mostly true).
Except that there are plenty of people making those kind of songs, and occasionally (see Amy Winehouse's pretty solid Back to Black and the short fad for Mark Ronson productions a couple of years ago) they even cross over into mainstream pop.
Which bring us to the wonderful, low-key OC soulster Aloe Blacc, a Stones Throw mainstay who has just found a new audience thanks to HBO's How to Make it in America.
Watch as he starts off all Motown and halfway through veers towards Curtis Mayfield territory, always respectful of the black pop roots but never stifled by them:
This How to Make It in America-themed clip is all New York (come back, Aloe!). For Aloe in the Southland, check out his brilliant “taking-the-bus-in-SoCal” video from his previous album: