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CURRENT OBSESSION: ROADHOUSE
3/30/17

Allan Rayman's otherworldly and genre-defying voice sticks with you, like a feeling of guilt that you can't shake or a monkey on your back. He'll haunt you to your core and have you begging for more.

This point is proved on Roadhouse 01, a 13-track set he released via Communion at the end of February. Listen, moan out of satisfaction, repeat; at least that's my advice.

Rayman's swagger is undeniable, regardless of the fact that he can't lean on the crutch of categorization. In fact, his inability to be pinpointed is part of what makes him so cool. Sultry guitar riffs come out to play on songs like "Head Over Heels," "25.22" and "Sweetheart," giving him moments of Alternative realness, but hip-hop beats and R&B vibes are integral throughout. Influences of jazz, blues and synth-driven '80s pop are also made clear.

Aggression and frail sensitivity dance like partners on this album, which starts off with a chilling piano part, reaches the peak of its arc with an earworm ("Left Alone") and ends on a bold statement ("God Is a Woman"). I mean, the guy references Faust (with "Faust Road"), the successful and zealous scholar who makes a deal with the devil, exchanging his soul for bountiful knowledge and power. What's more important? And where does true satisfaction sprout from? Roadhouse 01 is the musical exploration of such.

"I'm a bad boy, I'm an outlaw, I'm a James Dean," he croons on "Head Over Heels"—the same track that he spits the phrase, "She's a beauty queen," in a way that I can only really describe as reminiscent of a gritty Michael Jackson.

That's exactly it, though; he's an outlaw, and ain't it true that no one can help but be mesmerized by what they can't grasp?

Oh, and the multi-layered production is pretty exquisite. 'Kay, I'm done now.

xx,
Samantha Hissong