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, one of JOVM‘s earliest mainstay artists. And throughout that time, Lopez has uncompromisingly refused to be pigeonholed into one particular genre — the New York based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist 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.
Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year in particular, you’d likely know that Lopez is among a handful of artists who has focused on a single of the month series. While on one level, such a phenomenon points to the death of the album, it also allows artists to be creative without concerning themselves with the strict thematic and lyrical structure of an album — but with fairly strict deadlines to compete and release material. Lopez’s latest Jam of the Month, “Run Run Baby,” is a sleek, slinky and sensual synth-based pop/R&B that strikes me as a modernized version of Prince’s “The Beautiful Ones” if covered by Dam-Funk as Lopez’s sultry crooning is paired with shimmering and wobbling synths, skittering drum programming.