New Album Is Outasight

Michael Jackson. Kanye West.  Britney Spears. Ray Charles.  They appear in flashy images splashed on my screen in the latest Pepsi ad with the series premiere of “The X Factor USA” last fall.

However, the song in the background caught my ears.

With lyrics such as, “Tonight is the night is the night / That we’re losing control / Tonight is the night is the night / We set it off,” I caught myself immediately looking up who was behind such impressive vocals and such a funky, carefree beat.

This was how I was introduced to Richard Andrew, better known as Outasight.

Though he has been on the independent music scene since 2007, the 29-year-old Yonkers, N.Y. native has been dropping various mixtapes and EPs over the years,

His debut album, “Nights Like These” finally dropped on Nov. 27 to acclaim from music critics.

With smooth vocals and energetic beats, Outasight has a refreshing sound for the contemporary music scene. Pulling influences from such great artists as Stevie Wonder, The Beastie Boys, Outkast and Jimi Hendrix, Outasight has an old-school vibe to his music.

A pop artist, Outasight is able to blend elements of classic rock, hip hop, funk, pop and classic soul into his music, creating a unique mixture of genres.

The album kicks off with “Let’s Go,” showcasing Outasight’s rapid verses and exciting tempos — an excellent way to ignite the “Nights Like These” journey.

Tracks such as “I’ll Drink to That,” “Under Lock and Key” and “Perfect Words” display his versatility, as he slows down the pace to a mellow treat that can fit with a late-night cruise down the boulevard or with simple time relaxing and enjoying life, with “I’ll Drink to That” the most relaxing of the trio.

“Shine,” a collaboration with former Aldrich Park After Dark headliners Chiddy Bang, is another highlight on the album. Chiddy’s verses are able to blend pleasantly with Outasight’s voice.

“If I Fall Down” is destined to be a hit on the club scene, as it is an exciting dance track while “Ready Set Go,” one of my personal favorites, mixes classic dance with funk, rock and even touches of techno.

“Now or Never” has the same carefree attitude as the rest of the album. Everything from cliff jumping, parachuting and fireworks spectacles to Muhammad Ali boxing victories and Lakers championship celebrations are featured in the inspirational video.

The title track is another future classic, as it perfectly ends an already incredible album.

Outasight’s signature and most familiar track would be “Tonight Is the Night.” Frequently used in pop culture, from WWE Monday Night RAW to commercials for Honda and Pizza Hut, the song successfully captures the album’s overall mood of living for the moment and enjoying the best out of life.

Not disappointing older fans, “Nights Like These” is able to maintain what Outasight has built his reputation on, and that is simply feel-good music. For fans who would love to learn about some of his older material, his website offers his 2011 mixtape, “Get It Together,” for free download.

All in all, “Nights Like These” is the perfect album to lift spirits and get anyone in a good mood. Outasight’s relaxing, smooth style can unravel the tightest of nerves and is destined to be a new sound dominating the Top 40 charts.

Final Rating: 5/5