Mateo joins heavyweights like Miguel and Frank Ocean in the fight to save R&B from soulless club-bangers. His musical DNA can be traced back to Prince — with a splash of Freddie Jackson or at least his knack for panty-dropping balladry. Take “After Dark”, a track from the newcomer’s first EP We’ve Met Before.
The smoldering slow jam surprises with a healthy serve of ’80-synths and a refreshingly sincere and, dare I say it, romantic approach. “Lady with the cherry lips, can we make the pillows talk?” asks the smooth crooner before the towering chorus crashes in. This is what a non X-rated babymakin’ anthem sounds like.
It speaks volumes for the quality of the Interscope artist’s EP that “After Dark” wasn’t picked as the single. That honor goes to hook-filled mid-tempo earworm “How Good Is Your Love”. Another highlight is an impressive cover of Kendrick Lamar‘s “Sing About Me”.
With a bunch of songs this good up his sleeve, it’s easy to see why Alicia Keys and Kerry “Krucial” Brothers are major supporters.
We’ve Met Before drops August 13.
Mateo — “After Dark”
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