Nick Waterhouse updates vintage R&B on 'Time's All Gone'

Now that almost 1960s-style retro soul has become pretty well established, a few people are digging down a little deeper: JD McPherson mines the sound of vintage black rock ‘n’ roll and R&B on his searing debut, “Signs & Signifiers,” while Nick Waterhouse swings with style through ’50s-era R&B on his new “Time’s All Gone” (Innovative Leisure).

It’s a confident album, with horns that swagger around tight, trebly guitar licks, deep-pocket drums and Waterhouse’s stylized behind-the-beat vocals. Although they have a throwback charm, Waterhouse’s songs never come off as relics. On the contrary, opener “Say I Wanna Know” sounds like it’s always been there, waiting to take your breath away, while the insistent stabs of brass and Waterhouse’s laconic drawl on “I Can Only Give You Everything” out-muscle their primary influences.

The horns are a particular joy on this album: layers of blowsy saxophone weave around each other over plinky piano on “Is That Clear,” and the brass grunts through the verses of “Don’t You Forget It” before opening up with a little shimmy on the chorus.

Waterhouse and his band dial in a great classic sound imbued with a subtle modern touch, and at 31 minutes, “Time’s All Gone” is all gone too soon — which just means you can start again from the top.

— Eric R. Danton

LISTEN
Nick Waterhouse, “Is That Clear”

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