new music: jesse boykins iii is back with the ultra-smooth ‘love apparatus.’ #soundcheck

April 21, 2014

It’s been 6 years since Jesse Boykins III’s last full length album, but the singer hasn’t been laying low. In the years since The Beauty Created, Boykins has released a few stellar EPs and collaborated with Theophilus London and MeLo-X. But now the modern Romantic is back in full form with the effortlessly sexy Machinedrum produced Love Apparatus.

By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor

Click here to stream the whole album on Spotify

The lush guitars and live percussion of The Beauty Created have been replaced by the meticulous electronic programming of Machinedrum, but the lilting synths and melting drums feel no less alive and vital. Boykins’ ethereal falsetto against Machinedrum’s misfiring robots gives meaning to the phrase Love Apparatus. Starting with the ambient synths of “GreyScale,” this is an album for lounging around on a spring afternoon with someone you love. Jesse Boykins’ voice floats in and out of the ambient soup, sometimes just another texture, sometimes controlling the proceedings.

Given their history, it’s no surprise that the collaboration with Theophilus London “Tell Me” shines brightest on Love Apparatus. Theophilus London’s verses stand out against the double smooth mix of Boykins and Machinedrum. As the album builds, the beats become more insistent. Spaced out drums give way to quasi-house by the time single “Plain” kicks in. Gradually the tempos slip back to slow jam, but those moments when Jesse Boykins III and Machinedrum find dynamics and sounds to contrast Boykins’ perfect voice are incredible.

The album will be out tomorrow, April 22. Click here to order.