The Upshot: Sharper melodies and more potent singing than in the past, the Twin Cities rocker reaffirms his bonafides.
BY MICHAEL TOLAND
The surprise return of ‘80s R&B wunderkind Andre Cymone in 2014 with the rock record The Stone is no blip in the radar of his career. 1969 continues the Minneapolis singer/multi-instrumentalist/producer’s re-imagining as Lenny Kravitz’s cooler, less derivative cousin with a set of songs loosely inspired by the titular year, often seen as a turning point in American history.
The folky “Black Lives Matter” and funky “Black in America” allude to the new political realities of so-called post-racist America, while the title track tracks personal history through acid folk. The hard-rocking “Money” and the ‘60s soul-inflected “We All Need Something” offer more general social commentary in the grand inclusive tradition. Alternately, Cymone concerns himself with the usual affairs of the heart (and groin) on “Already There” and the blues-heavy “Point and Click.” “It’s Rock N Roll” adds an acoustic Stones vibe as it celebrates its titular musical form.
Driven by his gritty singing and sizzling lead guitar, the album is a step forward from The Stone, with sharper melodies, more potent singing and a sense that Cymone has really settled into his role as a born again rock & roller.
DOWNLOAD: “We All Need Something,” “Black in America,” “Already There”