Published Jun 28, 2016"I hope my best is good enough," Pluto half sings, half moans on "Said So," one of the cuts from new EP Just 4 Now. From there, the emerging Toronto R&B heartthrob attempts to convey the sentiment behind those lyrics, straining for a high note on the latter half of the song's chorus that's as high up and far out as our solar system's edge. Hurling his voice towards such an abyss is laudable, though it becomes shrill enough in that moment to make all but the most open-minded listeners cringe.
He vies for an equally outlying orbit on "Tell Me," shouting: "I ain't got nothing without you!" loud enough to resound through the heavens. This time, though, he doesn't overdo it, making the moment dramatic and moving. More effective still are the periods when Pluto comes down to earth. The subtly sumptuous instrumental song intros he chooses, for instance, lull listeners in, particularly on "Tell Me," which starts with distortion akin to an out of focus image before snapping into sudden focus. It's all heartbeat percussion and subdued crooning — immediate, sexy and thrilling.
Best of all is when Pluto lands his sonic spacecraft on "LA," incorporating introductory synths that oscillate like tractor beams, drawing the listener in. Before long, high-pitched, peppy synths reminiscent of horn blasts punctuate the instrumental and make it far more memorable and catchy than anything else on the EP. Then, in a croon that's part Miguel and part the Weeknd, Pluto sings about a lady strutting down Sunset Strip like it's her "runway."
Such a convergence of clever lyricism, impassioned singing and unique instrumentation make "LA," tower above any of Pluto's other admirably stratospheric — but somewhat weightless — ambitions on this EP, but at least that bodes well for his future. (Independent)