Published Jun 03, 2019What hits you immediately about R&B singer-songwriter Lucky Daye is his vocals. Born David Debrandon Brown, and hailing from New Orleans, there's a unique tonal thing happening with Daye's voice, and his reverence to pretty much everything that's happened artistically for R&B in the last 25 or so years is clear.
Opener "Roll Some Mo" hits the spot, setting the tone for Daye's slinky and controlled vocals. "Late Night" is a funky club dance number, impressive in its clear soul-pop direction, leaning in on modern rap sensibilities without feeling consumed by them. In an era where unironic R&B isn't the move, it's cool to hear a big track like "Call" that's fresh, inspired and unabashedly soul without sounding throwback, corny or contrived.
Even at 13 tracks, with solid production by D'Mile, Painted doesn't feel overlong or bloated: "Extra" is solid "stay up" funk and "Karma" revels in its Ginuwine-slash-Rufus sensuality and succeeds on the face of its unpredictable chord progression and arrangements. "Misunderstood" highlights why Daye is perhaps a cut above when it comes to his R&B/soul competition in 2019; it's commitment to a traditional jazz-blues aesthetic while speaking to modern day relationship issues is a winner.
Where Daye excels is in knowing what he is, and he commits to genre without attempting to play the field in a genre-less world. Case in point: "Floods" plays around in an orchestral soundscape and is clearly rooted in soul, but is oriented into a modern day hip-hop vibe that, while a bit too long, comes off authentic, earning props in both worlds without compromising its soul integrity.
Daye has already been marked with the "one to watch" designation: Painted showcases his funk, jazz and soul leanings, his vocal training/ability and a commitment to genre that puts the project over the top. (RCA)