On the 8 tracks of Mingus, the debut EP from Mingus Murray, it can be hard to find the artist’s personality, which is often lost amid the sounds of older artists. “Train Whistle” is a carbon-copy of Jimi Hendrix’s late 60s crunch, from its guitar riff to its echo-laden vocals.
“Just The One 4 Me,” from the Prince school, blurts with bursts of electronics, and incorporates a thin, itchy guitar. Murray sometimes pitches a falsetto again the low blurting, and he packs all sorts of firepower into the hook. “Switch Positions” is spacious, sexual funk, riding a slinky synthesizer and the type of hollow, flat drums that Prince helped inject into 80s pop (these also percolate through “Designer”).
Murray is a potent and versatile singer, and he doesn’t choose to sheer away idiosyncratic edges in search of the shiny Prince-indebted pop of an artist like the Dream. But in copying the idiosyncrasies of others, he fails to develop many of his own.