Har Mar Superstar

You Can Feel Me

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Har Mar Superstar is an enigma. The Minneapolis-based singer is one part performance artist, one part ironist, and one part darn fine R&B singer. Even more compellingly, his live performances (he has opened for the likes of Incubus and the Strokes, playing to huge audiences, including arenas) consist of Har Mar, aka Sean Tillmann, singing his über-sexed tunes to a tiny disc player while dancing provocatively and slowly stripping down to his tighty whities. The kicker is that Har Mar is a diminutive, profoundly out-of-shape, balding white guy. (His appearance has been quite accurately described as a cross between the actor Jack Black and '70s porn star Ron Jeremy.) Adding to the inwardly tightening circles of confusion: You Can Feel Me, his sophomore effort, is a darn fine R&B album. It certainly helps that the listening experience is stripped of Har Mar's visual presentation (the point of which may be to spoof the ludicrously soft-porn tendencies of modern R&B, à la Christina Aguilera). But You Can Feel Me is a genuinely funky, finely produced album that often bypasses white b-boy cheekiness. The slinky groove of "Power Lunch," which features an outstanding vocal performance by Har Mar, is as strong as anything on the urban charts in recent years. At other times, however, the tongue goes back in the cheek, or at least somewhere near it, as with Dirty Preston's obtuse white-boy rap on "One Dirty Minute," which boasts such goofy platitudes as "I'm putting ladies on layaway/ I'm making very sexy installments" atop a gulping, funky bassline. Nevertheless, one thing is undeniable: cosmic joke or not, Har Mar Superstar has put out a great record.

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