Published Oct 01, 2019An EP like Ruben Young's Dreamstate drives home the reality that soul music lovers in this country are almost spoiled for options. The singer-songwriter has a crisp, yet husky, voice that serves him well over these seven tracks, designed to whet appetites for a full-length offering.
The theme is dreamy, breezy, floaty grooves tethered to mindful mood for love, longing and anticipation. Opening number "Vienna" transports listeners — by way of a rap-like flow — to the familiar insecurity of early love. "Rachel Green" plays off the character from that popular sitcom to serve up a late-summer jam, aided by Hodgy from hip-hop collective Odd Future, while the slick "Subtle Savage," featuring fellow homegrown artist Terrell Morris, goes down easy.
Young has a laid-back vocal approach, one that belies his range and dexterity. He's got charisma and lyrical and sonics to back it up. One wonders if he has another gear outside of breezy soul — but that's for future releases to explore. Based on the polish of Dreamstate, we won't have long to wait. (Independent)