Mayer Hawthorne, "A Strange Arrangement"
Listing Curtis Mayfield, Smokey Robinson and Barry White as influences, up-and-coming soul singer Mayer Hawthorne isn't your typical freckled face from Ann Arbor, Mich. His debut album, "A Strange Arrangement," appears to pay tribute to these legends. Confident in his abilities, Hawthorne handled most of the instrumentation while also writing and recording the majority of tracks on his own. His regretful croon in the debut single, "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out," will have the ladies swooning, while "Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin' " will have listeners jazzed up and aching to cut a rug. The almost a cappella "Green Eyed Love" completes the album, providing Hawthorne the opportunity to say a soulful, bittersweet goodbye. --Lara Marsman