By Kyra Posey
If you could imagine the ultimate soul cocktail- and I mean ultimate, with hints of Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, and a splash of Prince- with a few modern/retro olives for garnish, you would be sipping Allen Stone’s newest album, Radius (Deluxe).
The discovery of a new artist with a raw and soulful sound whose grainy voice is accentuated by refreshingly upbeat music is one of my most recent accidental accomplishments. Stone’s sound in Radius– vintage, soulful, sometimes upbeat and sometimes more chill- is truly an experience. Each of the songs on Radius have a unique earnestness to them. From sentiments about love, internal struggle, and even white privilege, Stone’s album is undeniably real.
This realness can’t be mistaken for boring or saddening, though- the funky beats made with real instruments in this album are the backdrop for his lyrics. (Yes, I did just use ‘funky beats’ in a sentence.)
What makes this album truly special is that each song is authentic- through sound and lyrics. With lyrics like “Oh, it doesn’t seem right that I, I was born white//Everyday I, piss money away, I’m a material slave” in ‘American Privilege’ and, later, lyrics like “Change – what’s with all this change/Years go by but I stay the same” in ‘Circle’, listeners can see into the complex, worried mind of this 28 year old. His honesty and relatability show through his lyrics and his vocals, his raw and soulful voice luring listeners of every genre.
The deluxe version of Radius is truly worth a bit extra money, with 6 new songs and an alternative version of ‘Freedom’. The second version of the song is definitely more stripped down than the original- with more distinct instrumental- although it still has it’s upbeat rhythm. The six additional songs add on to the experience that the rest of the album. From the carefree tone of ‘Loose’ to the yearning vocals of ‘Faithful’, Allen Stone continues the journey into his mind with the message of each song.
So, take a sip of this authentic and soulful cocktail by indulging in Allen Stone’s Radius.