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 mood 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.
In 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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