Review Date: 05/01/2014
Review By: Christopher Johnson
Release Date: 04/08/2014
Rating: [usr 8]

Moleskines and Pocket Squares is Michigan resident James Gardin‘s follow up to his 2012 release A Little Light For You (but first album under his given name James Gardin).  Gardin spent several years with a decidedly more secular bent to his music and was building quite the following prior to choosing to adjust his message.  What hasn’t changed though is his silky smooth delivery.  Artists and Publications alike have taken notice as Rapzilla has Gardin listed as one of their top 10 Freshmen of 2014.

Whereas some albums provide an energy drink injection call to arms with its delivery, Moleskines and Pocket Squares is perhaps more suited to play the role of the bubble bath after a long hard day.  The melodies and hooks of all three of the full length tracks provide a therapeutic calming method of  delivery for the messages of hope throughout.

Better Days” plays as a seventies era R&B track infused with hip hop.  Phourthelove delivers a hypnotic accompaniment to Gardin with their shared message of perseverance and the promise of better days ahead.

I Cry” adopts a bluesy guitar riff to push along the exploration of feeling lost and without hope.  Gardin shares an introspective look at the ideas of feeling like there is nothing left to live for as well as the impact of others feeling the same way.

Selah” adopts a similar feel of the classic R&B style backdrop of “Better Days” to help fuel the message of hope and nurturing that God offers.

For the listener accustomed to Lupe Fiasco, Jill Scott, the Roots etc.  James Gardin’s Moleskines and Pocket Squares EP will sound rather familiar with the added benefit of a message that matches the quality of the delivery, and is certainly a good addition to your music libraries.

Stream or download the EP below…

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Twitter | Blatpack artist profile | Soundcloud | Bandcamp

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