In a pop world dominated by sneering EDM sexpots, roaring cartoon pinup girls, and self-aggrandizing hip-hop filthmasters, Devonté Hynes is an anomaly. The singer, songwriter, and producer's music - a sleek, midtempo blend of R&B, funk, old-school hip-hop, and jazz - couldn't be farther removed from the raunchy, calculated, club-bound singles currently ruling Top 40 radio. Instead, Cupid Deluxe, his latest album under the name Blood Orange, feels loose, warm, nostalgic, and lived-in. Many of its tracks conjure images of a flickering, late-night Times Square as seen from the backseat of a speeding taxi cab. And not the Times Square of today - rather, the seedy, gritty, sometimes dangerous Times Square of yesteryear, when the district was heaving with arcades, peep shows, hookers, cross-dressers, crooks, break dancers, and boom boxes.
Hynes's sound is off-center, even anachronistic, but in the most refreshing way possible.