Published Mar 08, 2017Collectively, singer/songwriter-instrumentalist Phil Beaudreau and producer Dawaun Parker represent AOE (Ambassadors of Earth). It's a moniker that, at first look, comes off grandiose, but it's warranted.
The experimental duo cite influences ranging from Kanye West and Stevie Wonder to Thom Yorke and the Beatles, and aim high with six-track EP offering, Homecoming, hitting a sweet spot of soul-inspired harmonics. Parker, formerly a producer under Dr. Dre, spreads his musical wings here, serving up a solid base for Beaudreau's vocal capabilities.
Opening track "Never Know Me" reveals a McCartney-esque influence, a bold splash of pop. Beaudreau's audio-visual sensibilities — he's the designer behind the group's animated video imagery — combined with his warm-hearted vocals bring a nice texture on lead track "I'm Right This Time," a syrupy slice of R&B. The hip-hop beat of "Gone," the electro-feel of "My World / [R]evolution" and the soulful urgency of "Love|Sorrow" all provide a taste of what AOE is all about and what they are capable of in the future. (Def Jam/Universal)