Black Pumas: Black Pumas [Album Review]

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Black Pumas
Black Pumas
ATO Records [2019]

Who: Black Pumas is the debut full-length release from the Austin duo of Adrian Quesada and Eric Burton who were named Best New Band at the 2019 Austin Music Awards.

Sound: Black Pumas play a smooth neo-psychedelia, retro-soul set.

TFN Final Take: Austin’s Black Pumas shine as a standout act in the retro-soul scene, with the duo of Adrian Quesada and Eric Burton delivering ten impassioned tracks on their eponymous debut album. The group’s talents become immediately evident within the first two songs, “Black Moon Rising” and “Colors.” In particular, the harmonization in the chorus of “Colors” pays homage to the timeless sound of classic Motown. In other tracks, such as “Touch The Sky,” Black Pumas seamlessly weave in blues influences, complemented by the emergence of jazz-infused horns, lending the song a distinctive quality that stands out.

On the whole, Black Pumas succeed in delivering a solid record while staying within the mid-tempo range. This inclination toward the middle ground sounds great even though it does not necessarily break into new territory. Nevertheless, the duo unquestionably demands attention, as moments arise where their soulful performance blazes through the speakers, offering compelling reasons for repeated listens. When you become engrossed in a track like “Fire” and hear the Black Pumas’ rendition of “Don’t be afraid to say I need you; I will understand,” the listener becomes instantly engaged.

Black Pumas Website
Black Pumas Facebook
ATO Records

Thomas Wilde
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