Mixtapes/Album

Published on August 14th, 2017 | by Keith McNeil

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Van Hunt – Popular

Blue Note Records has released Popular, the previously unreleased 3rd album from singer-songwriter Van Hunt, which was shelved a decade ago but is at long last available digitally today to stream or download. Popular was originally intended for release in January 2008, but was pulled from Blue Note’s release schedule in late 2007 during a tumultuous time for the label’s prior parent company EMI. Hunt had been moved to Blue Note’s roster following the release of two albums for EMI’s Capitol Records: Van Hunt (2004) and On the Jungle Floor (2006).

In 2016, Hunt re-approached Blue Note (now underneath the Capitol Music Group, a division of the Universal Music Group) to reconsider releasing the album. Current Blue Note President Don Was—who has cultivated a movement of forward-thinking artists who blur the lines of R&B, hip-hop, funk, rock and jazz like Robert Glasper, José James, and Chris Dave—readily agreed, allowing the album to finally see the light of day.

Popular was so far ahead of its time that it sounds fresh today and reaffirms Van Hunt as an important musical voice,” says Was. “The opportunity to right this wrong is both karmically and musically solid.”

Popular’s 14 tracks show the evolution of Hunt’s sound from his first two albums, an assemblage of funk, rock, soul and all styles in between that followed in the vein of his primary influences: Prince and Sly Stone. LA Weekly called the album “a left-field stunner” for its “trippy fusion of funk grooves, punk guitar and soul vocals.”


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Director of Music Content for The Hype Magazine, national promotional personality for multiple brands.


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