If Marvin Gaye was still alive, I think he’d be amazed at the variations and metamorphosis soul and R&B has gone under. It’s been taken and analyzed, innovated, surgically dissected, and transformed into a myriad of different breeds– from traditional R&B crooners, Mayer Hawthorne and Aloe Blacc, to top 40 megastars like Usher and Ne-Yo to independent post-party depressors like The Weeknd and Frank Ocean– it’s a diverse genre to say the least. Tom Krell, the Brooklynite madman behind the experimental, meditative, How to Dress Well, has taken R&B and transformed it into a Confucius-like spa session. The first half of “Ocean Floor For Everything” is like a wet breeze that comfortably blows across a beach just before a massive storm; percussion-less, Krell’s soulful crooning and gentle organ textures soothe the mind like a beachside London Fog tea in the middle of a cruel oceanic winter. Around the 1:40 mark, the storm hits, bringing in thundering percussion and tribal-like chants of “hey,” fogging up your glasses lenses as you scurry off the shore and back into your beach house to dry off. How to Dress Well respects the traditional aspects of R&B but Krell takes his own approach to the genre, a sort of proto-hipster-white-guy method, and thank god he does.
NOW, MUTE THIS VIDEO AND WATCH ALONGSIDE THE SONG.