With a furious intensity dripping from every word that he spits at us, James Cole launches into the chorus of his brilliant new single “Type of Guy” with zero hesitations and exudes a confidence that is anything but typical of an artist his age. Cole is dishing out some of the most stylish grooves of the season this August via this powerful R&B/hip-hop crossover track, and though it’s on par with what I’ve come to expect out of his studio work, there’s no denying that “Type of Guy” exemplifies the growth that he’s experienced as an artist in the last year. This is a sublime summer single that has all the right stuff to get even the most dedicated of wallflowers shaking to its seductive beats.
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The percussive track in this song is just as much of a star as the vocal is, and there are a couple of occasions on which it definitely steals a little bit of the thunder away from the other instrumental components present here. With just a touch of reverb, the drums make “Type of Guy” sound so much fuller and grandiose than it would have been otherwise, and that alone is a big part of the reason why I think it’s as evocative a listen as it ultimately is. Cole is really good at utilizing every element in his music properly, and this is probably one of the most full-bodied and robustly produced songs that he’s constructed since first coming onto the scene a couple of years ago.
Though the rhythm churns us in a vortex of harmonies that could just as easily have become overwhelmingly mammoth if left uncontained by the bassline, listeners never get trapped in the grind of the grooves in “Type of Guy,” which has been an increasingly significant issue for indie R&B artists in Cole’s peer group lately. I don’t get the impression that he’s looking to break any speakers with his beats; if anything, James Cole is going out of his way to make even his visceral compositions wholly palatable and melodic. He’s not the easiest performer to categorize by conventional standards, but to be fair, none of pop music’s most inspired and iconic artists have ever fit into the boxes that were applicable to the times in which they lived.
Anyone who digs a sweet harmony and some sleek beats needs to check out this latest single from James Cole upon its release, but I think that club-goers will find it to be a particularly engaging track capable of lighting up any dancefloor this August. There aren’t any contemporary songwriters that remind me of this guy, but I wouldn’t go as far as to describe him as a preacher of the outsider’s gospel quite yet. He’s definitely got an alternative sound relative to his major-label counterparts, but I’m curious to find out how he’s going to develop it over the next few years. Cole is exhibiting a lot of potential in “Type of Guy,” and it’s well worth hearing for yourself if you haven’t already experienced his work.