I’m not naïve. With the commercial success that resulted from David Myles and Classified’s last collaboration, the easy sell for Myles will be the companion EP that comes with his latest LP. The duo went back to the lab and Myles let Class create the beats and shape the tone of [the After Party]. Their collaborative relationship isn’t new – the duo worked together in the past, long before they discovered their Inner Ninjas, and the airplay and awards that accompanied that revelation – but the six-songs shows there was still much fruit left to be harvested.
Class plays to David’s strengths, letting David’s heart and trusting smile shine through. These songs feature horns, programmed beats and even Classified getting a chance to spit on a few tracks. The hits are uptempo and infectious (especially “So Blind”, a song that lets Class and Myles sneak in a playful homage to Naughty by Nature) but this is far from a paint by numbers experience for both artists. The cold, uptempo beat of “I Will Love You”, the remorseful and fuzzed out “Peace of Mind” and the intricate percussion of “One in a Million” all offer new terrain for David’s voice to glide over, without losing any of the warmth he exudes.
Truth be told however, I find as much in the more standard tracks David offers on In the Nighttime. Warm organs, weeping steel and stand up bass are the perfect backdrop for David to sing of love that makes him better. From the opening, airy moments of “Maureen” you witness the charisma and sincerity of a man willing to take bold risks to win the perfect love. You hear a man willing to sing from the top of the mountains and the bottom of his heart; a modern day Lloyd Dobbler, tailored in high thread counts instead of a trench coat and huge high tops.
It’s not a sexy comparison in the blog world, but David’s output could be slid nicely alongside artists like Amos Lee (“Tell Me What” could be a b-side from the fantastical self-titled Lee release) or even Norah Jones. All are seasoned artists that write seemingly simple songs that just stick. To say these are more than the sum of their parts seems like a cliche, but tasteful arrangements and spirited female harmonies make every song on this record a delight.
In the Nighttime is soaked in tradition but never attempts to paint David’s emotions in nostalgic sepia tones. Myles offer us all a reminder that love is all we really need, and there is no more noble calling than trying to find the people that make you want to give selflessly until the last beat of your heart.