We’ve all heard of yacht rock, but how about yacht R&B? Could we allow such a thing to exist? If it did, & It Was U would dock itself at the shores of this newfound subgenre. As a yacht song, it has all the telling elements: major key, vocal harmonization, and bold falsetto. Though while most yacht songs were overproduced and a tad overzealous, one thing that sets it apart from that cheesy subgenre is the minimal composition and blatant sincerity, which is one of How to Dress Well‘s strengths.
& It Was U provides a lightly pulse pounding climax to How to Dress Well‘s sophomore album, Total Loss. The man under the Dress, Tom Krell, lays down several layers of vocal tracks that nearly blow Robin Thicke out of the water. And then there are there are the pulsating, R&B/dancehall drum beats. And then…well, that’s about it as far as instruments go, but frankly that’s all this song needs to make it emotionally heavy. It’s as if Krell is coming into his own, feeling a little more confident as a singer than on his airy debut album, Love Remains, where his voice was shrouded in distortion and other effects.
I’d like to think that after delivering the excellent, no-holds-barred sensuous second verse on Playing House, his glittery baby-making collaboration with contemporary Active Child, he felt more comfortable in brining more of his strongest instrument to the surface. But who knows, this evolution might have been part of a plan to not lay all of his cards out at once. If so, well then shoot, Tom Krell is one clever artist.
Sit back, listen and enjoy.