Tuxedo II is the conspicuous continuation of 2015's Tuxedo, the lauded then-side project of Mayer Hawthorne and producer Jake One that found both shot from their usual comfort zones and sticking an unbelievable aesthetic landing. Two years and a world tour later, the bow-tied duo are back with another batch for the frills and sequins crowd.
The vibe comes rushing back at the album's onset, with the anthemic "Fux with the Tux." That's a good thing: Presumably, you're here because you're already a fan of the sound Tuxedo have offered in the past, and Tuxedo don't disappoint on II, hardly deviating at all from form. This is the same well-executed funk celebration you're familiar with, one that, the duo hope, might even be better the "2nd Time Around."
The production seems a little denser this time, like on "Livin' 4 your Lovin,'" where piano stabs and horn sections join the usual synth and retro drum machine combo. "Shine," a midtempo duet between Hawthorne and new school disco queen/touring companion Gavin Turek, is a standout, as is the lyric-less jam "Scooter's Groove."
Inevitably, a sequel will be compared to its predecessor, and while the Tuxedo team have done well to build upon a groove they dug years ago, there's not a ton new to discover here. That being said, if you fux'd with Tux on their first record, you'll find plenty to like here. (Stones Throw)