If you find yourself in a state of post Mad Men deprivation blues and are jonesing for a fix of that cool, swinging cocktail culture, Nick Waterhouse has your cure. His second album “Never Twice,” will take you back in time to an era when men dressed to impress and there was still some mystique to the feminine gender.
The first cut, “It’s Time,” comes out of the gate swinging (in every sense of the word.) With staccato Hammond organ chords and driving percussion, Nick sings, “I’ve been counting match sticks from a box and the seconds’ in reverse on the clock, just waiting for you to tell me it’s time.” You can feel the tension build musically and lyrically in anticipation of something great about to happen. Suddenly the chorus explodes with pounding drums and backup singers chanting along with Nick that “It’s Time!” And right away you know it’s time for some fantastic Jazz/R&B fusion that hasn’t been heard since “One Mint Julep” era Ray Charles.
The energy level remains set on high throughout the album. Every song is a musical highlight in its own right. From the jump blues of “I Had Some,” to the Van Morrison-esque “Straight Love,” to the infectious sing-along chorus of “L.A. Turnaround,” there are riffs and grooves to surprise and delight on each track. Waterhouse’s suave voice and perfect phrasing breathe a Dean Martin coolness into every bar (pun intended.) Beneath the surface of high-octane Jazz and R&B, there run currents of Doo Woop, Boogaloo, Bossanova, Soul and Funk. Each song has a depth and texture that rewards the listener with each repeated playing. Urbane, rhythmic and jazzy, “Never Twice” is so addictive you’ll never be able to listen to it just twice. You’ll want to play this disc over and over.