Erik Hassle | Somebody’s Party (Record Company Ten/RCA)

cd erik hassle_75_copyIf he turns this on for the ladies, he can delete that Match.com account.

 

Justin Timberlake + Prince + Rick Springfield = Erik Hassle. Wait, wait—before you stop reading, let me explain. This Swedish singer-songwriter is catching ears worldwide for his fresh take on pop music, tinged with old-school R&B and new-school soul. That pretty well describes the sounds of JT, doesn’t it? Next, mix in the simmering, sexy funk of The Purple One and you’re coming closer. And Rick Springfield? Hassle’s voice is very much like the pop king who gave the world “Jessie’s Girl,” a gift for which we will never, ever stop thanking him. But I digress…

Now, in 2014, Hassle’s gift to us is Somebody’s Party, a six-song EP (you all know how I feel about EPs: They’re too short. I want more, more, more!) that is smooth, sultry, and sensual all the way through. The horns, the strings, the piano—Hassle pulls it all out on this disc. Slow burner “Pathetic” slides into enchanting first single “Talk About It,” Hassle’s refined version of “Little Nikki”—if Prince could rein in his libido and let a refined rap from Vic Mensa do some of the talking. Why talk? Hassle asks. Let’s just do. (The video’s equally enticing.)

After the slow burning “Ready for You,” “What Is He Like” finds the Swede asking “Where’d you sleep last night?” He doesn’t want to let go; he will forgive. Come on, girl: Listen to that voice! So silky smooth—it’s got to be telling the truth, right? There is simply no better way to describe Hassle’s voice in “Innocence Lost” than yearning. Seriously: If he turns this on around the ladies, he can delete that Match.com account. All too soon, the title track wraps things up; truly, the “F” bomb has never been so sweetly sung.

I’m all for penning the hits and making the world of radio a better place—to say nothing of earning a big, fat paycheck when his songs rocket to the top of the charts. But Hassle’s got far too much talent to give it all away. His intercontinental takeover sounds to be well underway, and I, for one, want to keep the party going. A- | Laura Hamlett

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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