Published Nov 04, 2014Right from the jump, Ben Stevenson's Dirty Laundry displays its reverence for the electronic R&B-pop sounds of singer-performer Miguel's most recent output, notably 2012's Kaleidoscope Dream and, to a lesser extent, 2010's All I Want is You. "That alcohol and Adderall has got you up all night," Edmonton's Stevenson coos on "Love Could Be," pretty much telling you the overall vibe of the debut project. Dirty Laundry grabs you and begs you to stay; organ chops and echoing vocals kickstart opening number "Summer Dealer," with the rest of the EP's seven tracks skimming along the same wavelength.
It's pleasant enough; Stevenson's musical creation skills are on point and the requisite themes of loves won and lost are consistent. On one hand, Dirty Laundry is unrepentant in its artistic origins; on the other, the project aims for greatness but is undershot into decent territory. This overarching style of ethereally dreamy, midtempo R&B — see tracks like "Still" and "Girls Like You" — is likely on the downswing, but Stevenson is earnest about showing the sound still has a bit of life in it yet. (Culvert Music)