SoMo

SoMo

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Joseph Somers-Morales, aka SoMo, rapidly went from hobbyist to major-label recording artist. Uploaded covers of contemporary hits by the likes of Chris Brown, Drake, and Miley Cyrus led to a contract with Republic, who remastered and re-released the singer's debut mixtape. This, his proper debut album, contains only a handful of tracks made with friend and previous lone collaborator Cody Tarpley, while the majority remainder was made with Jeremih partner Mick Schultz. At its best, the album is mild and affable, with a small handful of light yet heartfelt love songs as highlights. More common are songs that present SoMo as a fresh-faced but otherwise nondescript alternative to the likes of the Weeknd and Brown, weighed down by every cliché of young male 2010s pop-R&B. The lowest point is "We Can Make Love." Not only does he testify "So we can make love/Or we can just fuck," but he stretches the final syllable of each line as a signifier of desperation -- not a strength, given the reediness of his voice -- and then elaborates with "We can get romantic, dirty dancer/Feels my hands until the sun comes up." The backdrops are functional, suitably slick and slinky, neither particularly stimulating nor memorable. They're not on par with Schultz's best work. Had Justin Bieber appeared the same year with a small amount of industry clout, it's quite possible that his debut album would have been very similar to this one.

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