From the Shadow Lounge in modern-day Pittsburgh, to the transformation into the smoke-filled dens of Paris, Larry Lovestein can deliver through it all. Mac Miller has these superpowers behind his creative outreach that covers the balance of smooth touches of saxophone, an ensemble that relies heavily on each others dynamic positioning, and a lyrical consistency coming from Lovestein’s smooth, gentle but giant voice.
Larry Lovestein is not alone on this venture however as he recruits the sensual Velvet Revival to create the backing from the REMember Music signed artists. The vocals and keyboards that come from Lovestein himself are then paired with the rumbling skins of Ralph Bubbletea. Shaking the background with Bob “Grumpy” Loveskins on the bass, with Dave Goodfinger on the tuba. Having a brass instrumentalist creates such a warm barrier that treads with the sound and holds the clarinet by Emmanuel Steinwitz, xylophone by George “Night Owl” Bamboo, congos by Gerry Tampico, Saxophone by Pierce “Gutter Ball” Fortenauté. This is all balanced by the strings of Patty “4” Fairchild, and finally snaps by Florida’s own Choo Jackson that becomes more important to creating the vintage sound that Miller was able to grasp.
From the opening approach of the vinyl sleeve that appears to be bruised and seen much use as the cover, You is an excellent step back into the corduroy and wood grain age that has that certain sense of pride behind it. There is a capturing of love that somehow invites to draw the listener in, letting them fall victim to this otherworldly experience of color and vibrancy within Lovestein’s journal. Rather than the horror escapade that made up Delusional Thomas, You is a much more approachable and more mature Miller that manages the multiple personalities under one roof.
With the splashes of stained pigments that blush and create shades of glorifying hues follow with the love stricken lyrics of “Love Affair” as Lovestein explains, “Let’s run away, sail through the Atlantic. Two of us, such a wonderful pair stuck inside this love affair.” He is cordial in the delivery which makes the following track of “Suspicions” feel even more personal with the peaceful production to wrap. “I hope my suspicions ain’t been right all along. You are all I know for so long. We both, agree we don’t know what’s going on. You my fantasy gone wrong” Lovestein describes through this hook that works in tandem along with the band.
In certain moments, You is some of Miller’s most beautiful works that stack alongside his mainstream solo works. He is able to prove that he is more than just a rapper or lyricist, Miller, or rather Lovestein holds a candle to the strongest of jazz winds without ever seeming to blow over or falter. The fantasy of love within the air and the different approach to creating a musical memento comes with welcoming arms and brings love to a whole new level.