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Van Hunt Popular

Neo-soul isn’t exactly the newest flavor du jour. Still, singer-songwriter Van Hunt soldiers on with an album of stripped-down, guitar-based, intimate funk confessionals reminiscent of both early Prince and Lenny Kravitz at his most brooding. Popular has its moments, like “Turn the TV on,” which muses on mindless commercialism, and despite Van Hunt’s penchant for booty-call-waiting lyrics, at least his sparse arrangements sidestep predictable R&B formulas. Doubtless there are some for whom choruses like “I wanna fuck you, baby!” will seem startlingly raw and direct, yet Van Hunt’s oversexed and possibly over-obsessive personality makes you wonder if he isn’t guilty of keeping it too real.

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