It's a familiar story: a young newcomer blows up with a worldwide hit single, yet thanks to immaturity, addiction, mental illness and bad business luck, they're threatened to be consigned to one-hit-wonder status. With his third offering and first release in over a decade, Eamon is determined to avoid that fate.
Eamon's self-dubbed "ho-wop" (a blend of R&B, doo-wop harmonies and hip-hop) propelled the profanity-laden "Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)" to the top of the charts in 2003, but he was just as soon gone. With Jedi Mind Tricks producer Stoupe behind the boards, instrumentation under the direction of Connie Price and the Keystones' Dan Ubick and vocal arrangements by Snipe Young re-energizing the Staten Island-bred and Los Angeles-based Eamon's sound, Golden Rail Motel showcases an artist in ripening maturity conquering his demons.
Rough-hewn gems like the in-your-face opener "Before I Die" and the uptempo "Lock Me Down" are fine examples of Eamon's gritty style, his voice having developed a more intense quality over the years. Yet it's when he connects the dots of the past — as he does on cuts like "I Got Soul," which echoes Joe Bataan's "Ordinary Guy" with its plea of street-bred authenticity in the face of materialism, and "Run," which suggests a more aggressive Frankie Lymon — that Eamon's stylistic hybrid truly crystallizes. Equally notable is the tender confessional "Mama Don't Cry."
More than the proverbial comeback, Golden Rail Motel is a declaration that Eamon is here to stay. (Huey Avenue Music)