Tag: Rene Lopez Love Has No Mercy

If you’ve been frequenting this site over its six year history, you’ve likely made yourself familiar with New York-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and long-term JOVM mainstay artist Rene Lopez. And over the years, Lopez has uncompromisingly refused to be pigeonholed into one particular genre. Over the years, Lopez has managed to mesh salsa, boogaloo, old-school hip-hop, meringue and electronica into one cohesive whole on E.L.S.; 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 PrinceThe Gap BandRick JamesChic and others on Love Has No Mercy and its subsequent releases.

Now, much like The Raveonettes and several others, Lopez has spent the past year on a single of the month series that he’s dubbed the Jam of the Month. The last and latest single of the series “Who Stole Your Heart” is a swaggering 80s freestyle and hip-hop inspired track that pairs Lopez’s silky smooth vocals with big wobbling, tweeter and woofer rocking 808s and layers of cascading synths to craft a dance floor ready party jam that sounds as though it drew from Herbie HancockRockit” and others.

 

Over the course of this site’s five year history, I’ve written quite a bit about New York-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rene Lopez, who is among a group of incredibly talented and shamefully under-appreciated artists I’ve covered and have gotten to know in some fashion. And throughout those five years, Lopez has uncompromisingly refused to be pigeonholed into one particular genre. E.L.S. (short for Electric Latin Soul), Lopez’s 2011 release, saw the New York-based artist meshing salsa, boogaloo, old school hip-hop, merengue and electronica to create a sound that was a loving homage to Latino New York and to old school New York I grew up in, but with an inventive, modern re-interpretation. It’s an amiably swaggering, upbeat party album with sounds that grab you by the hand and pulls you towards the dance floor.

Paint the Moon Gold, his last and most recent full-length released in 2014 was comprised of stripped down compositions consisting of live instrumentation only — vocals, guitar, bass, percussion, horns, flute, etc. — while drawing deeply from salsa, and 70s Brazilian music. In some way, that material brought Lopez back to the music that his father played as a member of Tipica 73 — and is just as danceable; but importantly, the material on that album seemed to come from a deeply personal place, as lyrically and thematically,  the material expresses the thoughts, sentiments, regrets, compromises and desires of a worldly, experienced man, who has looked back at his life with a sense of amazement and disbelief and the recognition life is at times remarkably painful, remarkably strange and incredibly, profoundly wonderful — sometimes simultaneously.

Lopez’s most recent recorded effort, Love Has No Mercy was released at the end of last year, and from his previous efforts it would seem to be the most dramatic change of sonic direction in his career as the material is comprised of slinkily seductive synth-based R&B and funk, inspired by Prince, The Gap BandRick JamesChic and others. However, as Lopez had told me in an interview, he grew up in a household where salsa and merengue and disco were routinely played, and his first band The Authority was deeply influenced by his love of the aforementioned Prince. So in some way, Lopez has come back full circle.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past couple of months, you may recall that I wrote about Lopez’s then-recently released single “Heavy, Baby Heavy,” a single that not only continues Lopez’s long-held fascination and love of all things funk, but was also the first released single in his Jam of the Month series. (Presumably, the Single of the Month series is meant to build up buzz for a new recorded effort, which he and his backing band have been working on for quite some time.) The third single of the Single of the Month series, “Trouble Lovin’ Lady” consists of squiggling and trembling synths, a brass section that punctuates the song’s chorus, a sinuous and funky bass line, propulsive drums in a song that channels Rick James’  “Ghetto Life,” “Give It To Me,” and “Superfreak,” The Gap Band’s “You Dropped A Bomb On Me” and others — but with a sexy horn solo at the song’s bridge; in fact, the song sounds as though it could have easily been released in 1982. Simply put it’s a funky, party-friendly song that drive you to the dance floor — right now.