Review: Ro James Releases Debut Album ‘ELDORADO’

Ro James Eldorado

We’ve been hooked on Ro James since he made us, ‘Pledge Allegiance‘ to his 2013 debut EP trilogy, ‘Coke,’ ‘Jack‘ and ‘Cadillacs. He’s kept our interest by periodically dropping new music, building our desire for his unique brand of smooth grit. Last year, he began teasing us by dropping pieces of his debut album, ELDORADO. Now, it’s time to grab a seat and enjoy the ride. Released via Mark Pitts’ ByStorm Entertainment/RCA Records, ELDORADO is a raw exploration of intimacy, love and revelation. It features production by Soundz, Da Internz and Happy Perez among others. The NY based singer/songwriter’s diverse upbringing is reflected in his music as he fuses elements of hip-hop, R&B, rock, funk and even a bit of country.

On the opening track, “The Ride,” James glides over a sensual groove with futuristic synths and deep bass, sharing his love for elevation and herbal relaxation. His vocals lure you in, convincing you that you’re just as ready to take the ride as he is to give it. In between moans he sings, “Let’s go for a ride/Trust me you’ll be fine/I’ll pull up when you’re ready baby/I need you to drive me crazy/’Cuz I’ve been missing something lately.” On “Permission,” he is respectful with a sexy undertone as he asks to pleasure his lady. Reminiscent of that 90s R&B flow “Burn Slow,” is a scintillating joint that flexes James’ raunchy side, “I don’t need no breakfast/ ‘Less it’s you on my face.”

ELDORADO kicks up the tempo a notch, on the confident “Already Knew That” and the pulsating “GA$.” While tracks like the head bopping, “Last Cigarette,” the edgy “Bad Timing” and the liberating “Holy Water,” showcase its depth. The impassioned crooner brings the fantastic voyage to an end with mesmerizing guitar riffs on the eponymous “ELDORADO.”

“That’s kinda the point of it all, enjoying the ride … It’s been a journey. It’s up and downs, holding on and almost letting go and sticking it through … I expanded my sound and stepped outside of my comfort zone. This is just a ride. I’ve got all the feelings, the hip hop, the country, the rock, the soul are the primary … It’s a little bit more polished but still gritty,” says Ro.

Ro James has a heavy summer touring schedule; first with Erykah Badu and then Maxwell. Check out the tour dates below, for when he’ll be riding through your city.

ELDORADO is on Apple Music now for a 1 week exclusive, and will be everywhere June 3!

Words by Raquelle “Rocki” Harris

TOUR DATES:

May 28 Houston, TX Arena Theater – Supporting Erykah Badu
May 29 Houston, TX Arena Theater – Supporting Erykah Badu
June 3 Philadelphia, PA Heineken Green Room Series – Pub Webb
June 10 South Haven, MS Landers Center – Supporting Erykah Badu
June 15 Brooklyn, NY Heineken Green Room Series – Bedford Hall
June 22 Los Angeles, CA Viper Room

WITH MAXWELL…

June 18 – Tacoma, WA – Emerald Queen Casino
June 20 – Sacramento, CA- Sacramento Convention Center
June 21 – Saratoga, CA – Mountain Winery
June 23 – Paso Robles, CA – Vina Robles Amphitheatre
June 28 – Albuquerque, NM – Sandia Resort and Casino
June 29 – Oklahoma City, OK – The Criterion
July 4 – Montreal, Canada – Olympia Theatre
July 5 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
July 6 – Buffalo, NY – Shea’s Performing Arts Center
July 8 – New London, CT – The Grand Theater at Foxwoods Casino
July 9 – Brooklyn, NY – The Amphitheatre at Coney Island Boardwalk
July 11 – Columbus, OH – Palace Theatre
July 12 – Mount Pleasant, MI – Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort
July 14 – Louisville, KY – The Louisville Palace Theater
July 15 – Nashville, TN – Ascend Amphitheater
July 16 – Little Rock, AR – Verizon Arena
July 18 – Austin, TX – ACL Live at the Moody Theater
July 19 – San Antonio, TX – Majestic Theatre
July 26 – Greenville, SC – The Peace Center Concert Hall
July 27 – Norfolk, VA – Chrysler Hall
July 29 – Raleigh, NC – The Red Hat Amphitheater
July 30 – Chattanooga, TN – Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Auditorium
July 31 – Birmingham, AL – Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex – Concert Hall
August 3 – Orlando, FL – Dr. Philips Center for the Performing Arts – Walt Disney Theatre
August 4 – Clearwater, FL – Richard B. Baumgardner Center for the Performing Arts – Ruth Eckerd Hall
August 6 – Augusta, GA – William B. Bell Auditorium
August 7 – Jacksonville, FL – Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts – Moran Theatre



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  • 88

    This is album is a smash….Just in time for the summer I will be picking this up.

  • Annnette

    i cannot believe you did not mention New Religion! Sitting here listening to that crying because he reminds me of Prince….Love that song~

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