ALBUM REVIEW: Mayer Hawthorne, ‘Where Does This Door Go’

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Mayer Hawthorne moves away from retro-Motown stylings without completely reinventing himself on his third record filled with breezy pop. The singer/DJ and his all-star producers, including Pharrell, certainly know how to craft sharply arranged, addictive songs; unfortunately the music still sounds too beholden to the past. Many of the tracks come across as homages to blue-eyed soul sources ranging from Daryl Hall to Boz Scaggs. Despite dipping into hip-hop and reggae, there are footnotes to ‘70s pop throughout. That doesn’t diminish the sheer pleasure of the tunes’ playful intentions, but Hawthorne’s DJ crate-digging tendencies seem to be bleeding into his songwriting.

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