Texan singer-songwriter Max Frost may have only been signed to Atlantic Records since June 2013, but his lengthy experience as a session musician has enabled him to conjure his own brand of soul that combines electronic elements with old-fashioned grooves.
The catchy, jaunty single White Lies is a comical commentary on deception. There is an urgency driven by strumming acoustic guitars and Frost’s overdriven vocals, which at certain points sound like screaming. This is an exciting opener to the EP.
Nice and Slow lives up to its steamy title. Its bluesy and chilled-out arrangement features highly-charged keyboard parts that are reminiscent of The Dark Side of the Moon-era Pink Floyd’s euphoric guitar riffs. The processing of Frost’s vocals works best here in making him sound dream-like, suggesting whatever that is ‘so real, so right’ is a forbidden fantasy. The deep bass also adds to the hot and heavy vibe of the track, which is up there with the great R’n’B’ babymaking anthems from artists like Janet Jackson and Usher.
Glow Long may recall a bit of Suit & Tie but is not as frigid. The icy synths and catchy ‘you know, you knoooooow’ hook are quite ghostly. However, they don’t chill the groove of the guitar, bass and drum machine so much that it leaves listeners cold.
Computer game noises that sound like they were taken from Pac-Man are highly appropriate for Suspended Animation. This is a more organically produced, subdued track that would be great to wake up to, with a gentle ‘hoo-hoo-hoo-hooooo’ hook and verses that slowly rise to the pre-chorus and the chorus (which admittedly doesn’t really go anywhere).
The feel-good Be Who You Want To Be, should be a single in its own right. It has a surprisingly empowering message in the chorus hook ‘play what you wanna play, say what you wanna say, be who you want to be, everything’s right when you do your thing’. Its loose, funky and musically exciting arrangement (combining a bouncy 1980s synth bass with some quirky whistling) has a great ‘live’ feel that makes listeners want to boogie.
Frost’s contribution to the crowded blue-eyed soul category stands out as a more musically timeless, warmer and less misogynistic fusion of electronic production and old-school rhythm. Listeners should look forward to the full-length by this talented musician.