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Music Review: Derek Jameson – The Invention of Love

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Since 2006, Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter Derek Jameson has explored a variety of musical soundscapes with a somewhat dark, yet always rich, underlying texture. Previous releases such as Biology and Space & Time focused on stripped-down moodDerek Jameson bust pieces with interesting twists of electronica; but The Invention of Love is his first to take that twist and turn it directly in the direction of the dance floor. Thankfully, he does so in a manner that doesn’t sacrifice melodic craft or vocal beauty.

Indeed, one of the first standouts in Derek’s output is the sheer loveliness of his voice — a rarity in this age of over-processed, auto-tuned-to-death pop stars. It’s because of this inherent talent that Invention producers Gabe Lopez and Mike Mac aren’t forced to resort to heavy-handed programming or excess gimmicks to come up with fully satisfying, kinetic grooves. From the opening synth lines of the seductive “Ribcage” to the entrancing underground vibe of “Exploding Stars,” there’s a beat factor to the set’s uptempo tracks which continuously complements each one’s harmonic impulse and lyrical canvas.

Derek Jameson CD Cover & DiscIn between the danceable themes, Invention makes room for several more reflective, acoustic ballads, such as “Push On” and “Hollywood Casualty.” While these drops in tempo certainly won’t work in the context of a BPM-driven workout routine, their tone is consistent enough with their faster counterparts to not disrupt the overall vibe of Invention. It’s as if Jameson, who is a personal trainer by day, has simply interspersed a few light stretches and meditation between the cardio sprints and weight reps for good measure. Ultimately, the result is a cohesive set that will get the heart pumping — and the brain flowing. The ideal mind-body connection.



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About Justin Kantor

Justin Kantor is a music journalist with a passion for in-depth artist interviews and reviews. Most of his interviews for Blogcritics can be heard on his Blog Talk Radio program, "Rhythmic Talk." Justin's work has been published in Wax Poetics, The All-Music Guide, and A graduate of Berklee College of Music's Music Business and Management program, he honed his writing chops as a teenager—publishing "The Hip Key" magazine from 1992-1996. The publication, which was created out of his childhood home in Virginia Beach, reached a circulation of 10,000 by the time he was 16. At Berklee, Justin continued to perfect his craft with a series of 'Underrated Soul' features for The Groove from 1997-2003. This led to a companion TV show on Manhattan Neighborhood Network in 2002, as well as writing for the national Dance Music Authority (DMA). A self-described "obscure pop, dance, and R&B junkie," Justin also has penned liner notes for reissue labels such as Edsel Records and FunkyTownGrooves. He's excited to be a part of the BlogCritics team and indulge his musical fancies even further. Connect with him at his Facebook page, or via