REVIEW: Justin Horn’s “Hornology”

Photobucket With an album cover that is homage to Stevie Wonder’s Music Of My Mind, I wanted to know what kind of music could be found in Justin Horn‘s mind, and he displays this in Hornology (Rotato).

The Hornology in this case is the -ology of his name, and this is represented by his vocal talents, where he brings jazz and pop, along with hints of soul. I think in a better world, tracks liks “By Your Side” and “That Way” would be radio hits, with the latter featuring vocalst Ameerah Tatum, who has done her share of background vocals on a number of albums in the last few years. His take on Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints” is a nice one and is sure to turn heads towards Horn’s way.

If there is one gripe, it’s a minor one, and that’s how he enunciates words down to a tee, but Johnny Mathis was never this funky. As much as I hate Auto-Tune, he adds the effect to “You Can’t Get My Love” and manages to do it better than most pop artists are these days. The point is, it’s easy to pinpoint certain things and say “I hate it” but what I try to do is go through it and figure out what I like about it. The enunciation is his style, and there’s a lot worse things to talk about than my preferences. “You Can’t Get My Love” could lead to him getting greater airplay, or at least if someone is turning the radio and it surpasses an NPR channel or jazz radio, someone will go “turn that back, what is this?” I heard the Auto-Tube bubbles and was like “oh no, really?” but oddly enough, it works for me. This is his Hornology, take it or leave it. I’m deciding to take it.

COVERED: Stevie Wonder vs. Justin Horn

At times it seems fans and critics tend to forget Music Of My Mind when it comes to discussing some of Stevie Wonder’s best albums. They’ll often talk about “the holy trinity”, or the holy trinity plus Songs In The Key Of Life as a platform. When Music Of My Mind is mentioned, it at times shows that the person who suggests it is paying attention.

For jazz/pop vocalist Justin Horn, he decided to honor Music Of My Mind by paying homage to the album cover, right down to the items reflected in his sunglasses. Down side: Horn’s Hornology has no covers from Music Of My Mind. No “Evil”, no “Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)”, not even a rendition of “Sweet Little Girl”. There is a cover of Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints”, but it would have been nice to have at least one Wonder cut on here, even as a secret bonus track os a track 0. The album cover tribute is a nice touch, though.