Author: Chealsea Hunt
The newly released El Dorado is Ro James’ first studio album, standing as a follow up to the R&B singer’s independent EP, Coke, Jack, and Cadillacs (2013).
The smooth tones and vast range of James’ voice provide a quality of diversity to the song list, despite nearly every track focusing on the same topic: sex.
Though I wish James had mixed it up a little, it’s definitely a concept suited to his inherently sensual sound.
The album’s first single, “Permission” (video seen above) had viewers swooning in the YouTube comments. With good reason, I might add. The song is a sultry midtempo number which really shows off James’ gritty, soulful voice.
Across the board, Ro James gives a performance comparable to some of the great R&B artists of our time. He’s been compared to Maxwell, D’Angelo, and even Prince by critics and fans alike.
“Sexy” is a sound that truly works for James as an artist.
That said, though, I personally felt that he did his best work on songs like “Holy Water.” It’s a piece which is more spiritual than sensual, and delves into a deeper message with its powerful lyrics:
And when the rain gets to falling
It’s coming down on me
Feels like the weight of the world
Was blind, but now I see that it’s just Holy water
It reminds me not to lose my soul
Accompanied by a more stripped down instrumental base, James’ voice comes across as remarkably pure and genuine, making “Holy Water” a standout on the album.
Most songs on the record, however, manage to hold their own. There is perhaps only one that gets a little lost in the mix. The backing music for “GA$” is a little overpowering for the accompanying vocals.
Generally speaking, though, El Dorado is a solid record well deserving of success.
James has the vocal stylings of a classic R&B artist, the power of a soul singer, and that new edge unique to modern hip hop. He’s an up-and-coming musician with something to offer to fans of many different genres.