Alex Henderson's review of One Drop At A Time
( staff writer)

When one understands the history of blue-eyed soul, it becomes evident what Dropjaw Bertone is going for on One Drop At A Time.

Grooves like “If”, “Should I”, “The Mystery of Love” and “Take You Home" demonstrate that this Gainesville, Florida-based singer and songwriter is not just purely an R&B artist. His foundations are diverse including pop and rock but the R&B elements on “The Mystery of Love”, “Take You Home” or “All Day Everyday Anyway” are impossible to miss. Without a doubt, Bertone is focused on the modern blue-eyed soul aesthetic throughout this 33-minute album.

A variety of moods can be heard on One Drop At A Time, from sexy to melancholy. Bertone’s more erotic side comes through on "Better in Leather” which employs a pop-rock electric guitar equating leather with sex appeal. In pop music, leather can be used to symbolize all kinds of things from rebellion and machismo to a sadomasochistic connotation. But on Bertone’s “Better in Leather” it represents smooth, sexy seduction. Meanwhile, his melancholy side appears on “Misery Loves Company”, “Stranger” and “One Day”.

“Should I” is another good example of Bertone’s ability to bring R&B elements to his pop-rock foundation. There are hints of the Beatles and British Invasion rock on “Should I” yet the R&B influence is there as well. Try to envision Timberlake or a similar Top 40 artist employing Beatlesque elements and one can get an idea of “Should I”.

Another influence on One Drop At A Time is hip-hop. Bertone does not do any rapping on this album; he sticks to singing. And he does not feature any guest rappers the way that so many singers are doing these days. But in terms of rhythm and the production style, one hears the influence of hip-hop all over this release. Hip-hop’s musical impact has not only been felt in terms of rapping, although that has obviously been a crucial part of it. Hip-hop has also affected the music world with its beats. And rhythmically, the funkiness one hears on “All Day Everyday Anyway”, “Just a Dream” and “One Day” gets a great deal of inspiration from hip-hop. Even with an “all singing and no rapping” approach, the beats of hip-hop influence Bertone on this album.

Bertone makes it clear he likes his pop laced with R&B on this release.

Review By: Alex Henderson
Rating: 3 Stars (out of 5)