OTIS HOUSTON JR.
Otis Houston Jr. recorded the songs for "America" in 3 locations around Harlem and the Bronx in 2006, the year the album was originally self-released. Makeshift studios that no longer exist provide a telling context for his autobiographical storytelling. Prerecorded beats made by studio owners were picked based on which suited his cadence laden poetry best and often times on "America" the songs repeat, with different lyrics, transforming themselves. Houston Jr., a raconteur and quick witted wordsmith has so much to say, that when there is a groove, he doesnt want to let it go, but rather float around and experiment. Influenced by Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye and the like, his strong voice and natural ability to use slogans give this album a cunning stance. Juxtaposed by the highly visible time stamp of mid-aughts DIY R&B production "America" sounds sometimes like worlds colliding, smooth improvisations, quick turnarounds and soul bearing truths.