New York: A Love Story

New York: A Love Story

Fans of The Wire will recognize Mack Wilds as Mike, the gifted teenage boxer who leads his misfit crew through Baltimore’s mean streets. In reality, Mack Wilds calls Staten Island home and has created this solid R&B love letter to the Big Apple. Like Chris Brown or Bobby Brown long before him, Wilds is a singer with a rapper’s charisma. Here he invites hometown heroes like Raekwon and Method Man to enhance his lushly crafted songs. “Henny” (produced by Havoc) and “Keepin It Real” (produced by Pete Rock) brim with subtle references to mid-‘90s hip-hop. Wilds flexes an agile voice that moves fluidly from falsetto to thugged-out croon on “Own It,” a Salaam Remi and Ne-Yo-produced single that percolates with radio-ready accessibility. On “Art of Fallin’,” Wilds contemplates the joy and pain of genuine love with the help of various man-on-the-street voices: “Love is like a song that’s sung just for you that you can’t get out of your head.”

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