Over the six year history of this site, I’ve written quite a bit about New York-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rene Lopez, who is not only among a group of artists I first wrote about when I started things here, he is also one of JOVM‘s earliest mainstay artists. And throughout the past six years, Lopez has uncompromisingly refused to be pigeonholed into one particular genre — Lopez has managed to mesh salsa, boogaloo, old-school hip-hop, meringue and electronica into one cohesive whole on E.L.S. (short for Electric Latin Soul); salsa and 7os Brazilian music on his most deeply personal effort Paint the Moon Gold; and slinkily seductive synth-based R&B and funk, inspired by Prince, The Gap Band, Rick James, Chic and others on Love Has No Mercy and its subsequent releases. This shouldn’t be surprising as Lopez has told me in an interview, he grew up in a household where salsa, merengue and disco were frequently played — and his first band The Authority was deeply influenced by his love of Prince and funk. So in some way, Lopez has come back full circle.
If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past few months you’ve come across posts on Lopez’s “Heavy, Baby Heavy,” “Trouble Lovin’ Lady,” and “Watch Me Turn It Up,” the first, third and sixth singles of his continuing Jam of the Month Series. The seventh and latest single in the series is the slow-burning Quiet Storm-like synth-based ballad that pairs Lopez’s sultry crooning with contemporary electronic production consisting of shimmering synths and persistent keyboards, ambient and swirling electronics, skittering drum programming, a gorgeous violin arrangement and anthemic hook. Sonically, the song sounds as though it draws influence from Prince, Blood Orange and Tuxedo and while being danceable and sensual, there’s an earnest sentiment at its core — a mix of desire, uncertainty, doubt and vulnerability that comes about from sincerely putting your heart and soul out on the line with the hope that it’d be reciprocated, and that it’d be a real and meaningful love.