Reintroducing Aloe Blacc
For those of you who never heard Aloe Blacc before his soaring, Sam Cooke-like voice spurred Avicii's "Wake Me Up" to the upper reaches of the pop charts, here's a half-hour introduction. The L.A.-based musician began as an indie rapper and evolved into a soul singer, though you can still hear traces of his former discipline on his 2006 debut, Shine Through, along with neo-soul, Afro-Cuban rhythms, a Spanglish rendition of John Legend's "Ordinary People" and much more. His critically acclaimed, retro-soul-themed 2010 follow-up Good Things yielded the Great Recession classic "I Need a Dollar," which was a global Top 10 hit but only a cult sensation in his native country. It took "Wake Me Up" for America to, well, finally wake up to the talents of this dynamic presence. His new EP, [Wake Me Up], includes a non-EDM version of that smash and a disco-tinged number in "Love Is the Answer," but we're really waiting for his third album in 2014, when he'll unveil the latest stage of a decade-plus journey that seems like it's nowhere near finished.