Jesse Boykins III: The Beauty Created 

At only 23 years old, he's today's hardest-working scrapper in showbiz. In one year, he's gone from obscurity to BET's "106th and Park" – all on the strength of his debut single, "Tabloids" (his innumerable shows around NYC also helped). His name is Jesse Boykins III and he's created an album that blends the jazzy adventurousness of his mentor Bilal, the languid romanticism of the Isley Brothers, and the loose songwriting of Dwele. Boykins' The Beauty Created lives up to its name, bearing a maturity that belies the lad's tender years. While Boykins' progressive soul sensibilities may lose traditionalists and his sameness of approach raises eyebrows, he has convincingly responded to concerns about his esoteric debut EP, Dopamine, by ensuring more accessible, download-worthy singles on Beauty, including "Amorous," "Trust," "Come to My Room," and – a prophetic title of his brilliant future – "Sunstar." 3 stars.

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