Artist Watch: Austin Brown Takes Flight

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


You know sometimes you have to be convinced. In the case of Austin Brown, this is what happened.

The son of Rebbie Jackson ("Centipede!"), the nephew of Janet Jackson and oh yeah...his highness King Michael Jackson, Austin Brown is the newest cat to give this old singing thing a try, and well, he's got the Jackson DNA to prove he's on par with tradition. I admit that I groaned when I first saw "Target Practice" and "All I Need" come up on my radar back in '11. Thus, I just kind of let his tunes (stupidly) sail by me, as well as a number of other tracks that seemed to pop up every other week or so. It's because I tread with caution when it comes to offspring of famous music minded parentals and relatives (remember how Willow Smith turned out after "Whip My Hair"?) as a disaster can often be in store. Plus when your uncle and aunt are two of the biggest music legends ever...you better be bringing it. Cuteness factor and namesake aside, no disaster area is present as Austin Brown has well, brought it.

In the last couple of months the singer-songwriter released a handful of cuts, and in a rare space, they are all quite good. Keeping in a electronic funk state of mind, Austin is currently having single, "Menage A Trois" (which you can view after cut) gain some traction. Other tracks like the Off The Wall-esque "Midnight Man", "City Of Angels", and "Write It On The Floor" further keep the momentum up. Austin does adopt a sort of feel-good element and falsetto lushness like his Uncle Michael---some songs sounding like he dipped them in whatever made Michael's "Rock With You" glitter get-up so sparkly---but thankfully he's keeping things in his lane and comes off rather infectious and dare I say, fresh.

I've now cemented my excitement for whatever he puts his stamp on thanks to the newness that is "Time For Flight" which features an on-point sample of Gil Scott-Heron's "The Bottle" and has Austin swiveling on a shimmering pop-R&B groove. So when is Austin's debut (entitled 85) going to happen? I don't know, from rumor it might see this year, all I know is that needs to come with the quickness because he's a whole lotta fun to listen to---and who can pass up fun?

Time For Flight

Midnight Man

City Angels



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