Cool Uncle - "Break Away" (feat. Jessie Ware) (Singles Going Steady)

by PopMatters Staff

19 October 2015

Simultaneously old and new, "Breakaway" manages to compress about 40 years of R&B history into four minutes.

Evan Sawdey: Oh, this is a wonderful piano-bounce that recalls the soul-pop singles sound of the late ‘70s/early ‘80s. In the pocket. Sleek. Inoffensive in the best of ways. Also, tapping in that strange allure of how Jessie Ware just nails her guest spots each and every time. But what drink shall I sip while listening to it with sunglasses on? Your recommendations, please. [7/10]

Paul Duffus: Simultaneously old and new, “Breakaway” manages to compress about 40 years of R&B history into four minutes. Hyperbole, yes, but make no mistake, the result is refreshing and likely to please classicists and populists alike. [8/10]

Kevin Korber: This sort of ‘70s throwback soul sound is the thing in R&B lately, but it’s nice to hear an old hand like Caldwell return to a sound that made him somewhat famous decades earlier. He meshes well with Jessie Ware, a fan who does well to hold her own with Caldwell. If there’s a problem, it’s with Jack Splash’s production; the man doesn’t have the magic touch for the era like Mark Ronson does with early ‘80s radio pop, and Ware’s voice sounds weirdly neutered on this recording. Still, new music from an underappreciated legend like Caldwell is definitely something to cherish. [6/10]

Dustin Ragucos: It’s like someone must’ve scurried into my father’s cassette collection, recorded themselves performing a cover of a low quality early ‘80s track, and then improved the production quality heavily. Lyrically, it’s nothing special, but if you’re feeling like stealthily escaping into the night while the party you’ve just left is still going on, then this track is fine material. [6/10]

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