12 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Eight albums into his recording career, singer/songwriter A.J. Croce stands poised to break out of cult status with Twelve Tales. As the son of hitmaker Jim Croce, this San Diego–based artist has dealt with heavy expectations over the years. As his latest release shows, he’s moved away from his father’s acoustic pop legacy toward a zesty blend of jazz, R&B, and country. Twelve Tales benefits from a stellar list of collaborators, who helped Croce keep his rootsy edge without neglecting the appeal of his well-crafted melodies. Legendary New Orleans producer Allen Toussaint lent his expertise to “Rollin’ On” (a rollicking tune cowritten with Leon Russell). The late “Cowboy” Jack Clement—known for his work with everyone from Jerry Lee Lewis to U2—handled production duties on the funkified “Easy Money” and the twang-filled “Momentary Lapse of Judgment.” Croce’s vocals combine coffeehouse earnestness with supper-club elegance, whether he’s bopping to a Latin groove on “The Call of Love,” testifying with gospel fervor on “Tarnished and Shining,” or ruminating in a folk mode on “Venus and Adonis.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Eight albums into his recording career, singer/songwriter A.J. Croce stands poised to break out of cult status with Twelve Tales. As the son of hitmaker Jim Croce, this San Diego–based artist has dealt with heavy expectations over the years. As his latest release shows, he’s moved away from his father’s acoustic pop legacy toward a zesty blend of jazz, R&B, and country. Twelve Tales benefits from a stellar list of collaborators, who helped Croce keep his rootsy edge without neglecting the appeal of his well-crafted melodies. Legendary New Orleans producer Allen Toussaint lent his expertise to “Rollin’ On” (a rollicking tune cowritten with Leon Russell). The late “Cowboy” Jack Clement—known for his work with everyone from Jerry Lee Lewis to U2—handled production duties on the funkified “Easy Money” and the twang-filled “Momentary Lapse of Judgment.” Croce’s vocals combine coffeehouse earnestness with supper-club elegance, whether he’s bopping to a Latin groove on “The Call of Love,” testifying with gospel fervor on “Tarnished and Shining,” or ruminating in a folk mode on “Venus and Adonis.”

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