Review: Galen James – Big Blue Mixtape

Big Blue Mixtape is filled with falsetto, driving horns, and crackling drums, all swirling together through out the album. Galen is a singer, composer, and self-serving lyricist, and this project aims to show off his range in jazz romp funk. The opening track, “African 6/8,” has dark grooves galore, luring listeners in with a tormented Galen behind a melting orchestra.

One of my favorite songs on the album is “Stars,” recorded live like quite a lot of the tracks on this album. The piano here has a certain shade of John Mayer, with talks of smooth sheets intertwined with bustling guitar bends and drum breaks. All of Galen’s music has a certain sultry quality to it, all building to high points only to breakdown peacefully with easy, slow drops.

His backing band, Compendium, do a great job throughout Big Blue Mixtape, especially the members playing trumpet and saxophone. All in all, this is a great project for anyone that would like to start listening to easy r&b grooves through jazz-trained roots.



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