Published Jan 27, 2016Thanks to a renewed interest in exploring sensuality, a new modern take on R&B has become one of the more lasting musical trends this current decade. Credit acts like Sade and Everything But the Girl as the inspiration, but so far we've been spoiled by the work of newcomers like the xx, Jessie Ware, Sampha and Tinashe, among others.
Brooklyn's Wet, a trio consisting of singer/songwriter Kelly Zutrau, and multi-instrumentalists/producers Marty Sulkow and Joe Valle, made waves in 2013 with their self-titled EP, and yet it's felt like an eternity since that first dropped, making Don't You both highly anticipated and slightly late to the party.
Don't You is definitely a fashionable arrival: Sulkow and Valle have composed a feather soft bed for Zutrau to air her love-hungry lyrics, with fluttering, airy instrumentation and snapping beats guiding every song. It makes for some truly precious moments, like the heart-wrecking sentiment of "Don't Wanna Be Your Girl" and the cavernous, piano-driven ballad "Island." And should they catch word that Sade is taking submissions, they might want to offer "Deadwater," because it's as fine an example of ever so slightly updating that Quiet Storm sound as you'll find.
Wet really stick to their guns on Don't You, which can either be construed as an attempt to remain consistent or a failure to attempt something outside of their comfort zone. Songs tend to blur into one another, and the record suffers at times from a little too much sameness. Only the feeble, pop-leaning "All the Ways" tries to break out of the mould, and sadly, it's the album's weakest link.
Don't You puts up a strong front that should connect with fans of all those aforementioned artists, but Wet's debut only connects with contemporary R&B, never pushing it forward. (Columbia)