Peach Kings, Mobley, Kelroy | LiveWire Lounge | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Mobley

Mobley

Gabo Beltran

Peach Kings, Mobley, Kelroy 

When: Sat., July 23, 8 p.m. 2016
Price: $10, $8 in advance
Musicians often ignore the genre lines that critics and listeners draw to box them in. Al Green made Hank Williams’s “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” an R&B tune, Prince morphed R&B into rock over and over, and Beyonce keeps on fusing hip-hop into pop-diva anthems. Austin singer-songwriter Mobley fits nicely into this long tradition of refusing to be bound by any one tradition. His new EP Some Other Country (Violent Films) draws equally from indie rock and pop charts, from heartfelt R&B emoting and precise, distanced electronica. “Victoria” cannily channels the Doors’ lascivious pomposity: “I really want to know your name,” Mobley declares as cheerful keyboards make way for distorted vocals, an ominous throb, and a pickup line that turns into a metaphor for imperial occupation (“You know we only want what’s left of you”). My favorite track is the glorious “Tell Me,” a straight-up love song in which a sparse beat serves as a backdrop to Mobley’s stunning, falsetto-heavy, Michael Jackson-esque vocals—he alternates breathy, tight, soulful phrases with soaring flights of ecstasy (“I’ll be patient / I’ll be steady / I’ve been waiting / I’ll be ready / Tell me what you want me to be”). The eclectic virtuosity accentuates the romantic charge. When Mobley says he’ll be anything for you, you know it’s not an idle promise.
— Noah Berlatsky

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