J.R. Holmes – Hold On
Opening with a soft, hazy wash of chilled-out R&B, Hold On showcases J.R. Holmes’ unique talent.
With sweetly soaring falsetto notes, ‘Regret A Bitch’ sounds like it should be a harsher song, while it’s a woozy, smooth track with fascinating elements of electronica and beguiling percussion.
‘Moving On’ has 90s throwback elements, with various tropes familiar to any R&B fan worth their salt, although the splash of auto tune adds an edge to the sound. As a track its sound is strangely sparse, with areas of the aural spectrum strangely absent, but this creates a huge sense of space for the listener, and causes the lead vocal to sound even more prominent once it fully kicks in.
With some hot, spooky pads, ‘The Truth’ starts of with a sense of mystery and intrigue. Vocally, it’s a layered track with a rich variety of doubles, harmonies, and ad-libs. A pretty piano part moves into the mix halfway through, adding a lonely sparkle to Holmes’ insistent vocal, “Can you handle, can you handle the truth?”
Shifting things up a notch, ‘Remember Me’ is more of a pumping dance number. It retains Holmes’ smooth style in the midst of the unrelenting house beat and grainy synth. Keestone Kilo appears at the track’s mid point to deliver the rap section, although it’s a little short lived at just 16 bars which might be acceptable for a snappy guitar solo but here things barely get going before they come to an end.
On ‘Little Empty Eyes’ we’re greeted with a shuffling live drum kit, and a distant sputtering reverse guitar while J.R. Holmes croons away. The sporadic harmonies add tone and texture to Homes’ melancholic vocal, understated but respectable.
Go ahead and check out J.R. Holmes’ EP ‘Hold On’