Van Hunt (album)

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Van Hunt
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 24, 2004
Various recording locations
GenreR&B, funk, neo soul
ProducerVan Hunt (also exec.), Randy Jackson (exec.), Andrew Slater (also exec.), Howard Willing
Van Hunt chronology
Van Hunt
On the Jungle Floor
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3.5/5 stars[1]
BBC Musicfavorable[2]
Robert ChristgauB+[3]
Entertainment WeeklyA[4]
Mojo4/5 stars[5]
The New York Timesfavorable[6]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[9]
The Village Voicemixed[11]

Van Hunt is the debut album of R&B singer-songwriter Van Hunt, released on February 24, 2004 by Capitol Records. Recording sessions for the album took place at Capitol Records, Westlake Audio, Sunset Sound, Sage & Sound Studio, and Zac Recording in Los Angeles, House of Blues in Memphis, and The Sound Kitchen in Nashville.[12]

The album charted at number 38 on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and number 14 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers.[13] The single "Dust" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance in 2005.[14]


Music journalist Will Hermes notes "sublimely janky '80s synths and melodies that jab and slide" on the album's songs.[10] Rolling Stone's Ernest Hardy finds Hunt's vocal style similar to those of Prince, Curtis Mayfield, and Marvin Gaye, and comments that the album's music evokes influences such as the Beatles, Muddy Waters, and Sly Stone.[9] Neil Drumming of Entertainment Weekly perceives a lack of melisma in Hunt's singing, writing that he sings "clearly and crisply and sav[es] the crests and falls for the swirling synths, slick guitars, and percolating bass lines."[4]

The album's subject matter is droll, stark, and confessional, and focuses on the pains of love, romance, and sex.[9][4][6] Songs such as "Anything (To Get Your Attention)" and "Down Here (In Hell with You)" deal with dysfunctional relationships.[4] On the latter track, Hunt asks "What would I do if we were perfect / Where would I go for disappointment?"[9] "Highlights" has him musing on a failed affair, as he uses a metaphor: "Old lovers turned critics curse at you on the silver screen".[9] "Precious" features a predominant Prince influence.[10]


Thanks to the success of artists like India.Arie and Alicia Keys, the term neo soul has become a marketable genre and the major record labels have spent the last couple of years putting their dwindling resources into the search for the next cool cat. Van Hunt was worth the money.[6]

Ernest Hardy of Rolling Stone found the album to have "no duds" and stated, "Unlike his neosoul brethren, [Hunt] wraps his seamlessly quilted voice around wry, off-kilter lyrics; his skewed views on love and life are wholly his. [...] The bar has been raised."[9] Mojo called it "a remarkably coherent and focused album" and stated, There's real substance and soulfulness to be found".[5]

Track listing[edit]

# Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Dust" Van Hunt 4:13
2. "Seconds Of Pleasure" Hunt 5:40
3. "Hello, Goodbye" Hunt, Curtis Whitehead 4:24
4. "Down Here (In Hell With You)" Hunt 4:49
5. "What Can I Say (For Millicent)" Hunt 4:45
6. "Anything (To Get Your Attention)" Hunt, Whitehead 3:27
7. "Highlights" Hunt 5:34
8. "Precious" Hunt 4:29
9. "Her December" Hunt 4:15
10. "Hold My Hand" Hunt, Whitehead 3:49
11. "Who Will Love Me In Winter" Hunt 4:14
12. "Out Of The Sky" Hunt, Whitehead 5:08


Credits adapted from liner notes.[15]

  • Van Hunt – arranger, producer, vocals, guitars, bass guitar, drums, keyboards, piano
  • Jermaine Rand (guitar)
  • Wendy Melvoin – guitar
  • Chris Whitehead (guitar)
  • Terry McMillen (harmonica)
  • Daryl Richards (alto saxophone)
  • Curtis Whitehead (tenor saxophone)
  • Nolan Smith (trumpet)
  • Isaac Curtis (trombone)
  • Truth (Wurlitzer piano, Moog synthesizer)
  • Dwight Farrell (celeste)
  • Patrick Warren (Mellotron)
  • Larry James (drums, percussion)
  • Nick Northern (drums, percussion, background vocals)
  • Amy White – background vocals
  • Ta Ta (background vocals)
  • Andrew Slater – producer
  • Howard Willing – producer

• Dave Way- mixing

  • Tim LeBlanc – mixing
  • Peter Mokran – mixing
  • Melissa Mattey – mixing


Chart (2004) Peak
U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[13] 38


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ BBC Music review
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (April 13, 2004). "We Got a Lot". The Village Voice. New York: Village Voice Media. Consumer Guide section. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
  4. ^ a b c d Drumming, Neil (February 27, 2004). "Van Hunt Review". Entertainment Weekly. New York: Time Inc. (753). Retrieved 2012-04-28.
  5. ^ a b Mojo review
  6. ^ a b c Harcourt, Nic (February 22, 2004). "MUSIC: PLAYLIST; The Progeny Of Bjork and Paul Simon". The New York Times. New York: The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
  7. ^ Paste review
  8. ^ PopMatters review
  9. ^ a b c d e f Hardy, Ernest (April 1, 2004). "Review: Van Hunt". Rolling Stone. Jann S. Wenner (945): 90.
  10. ^ a b c Spin review
  11. ^ Crazy Horse, Kandia (April 27, 2004). "Whine in Vain". The Village Voice. New York: Village Voice Media. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
  12. ^ "Van Hunt CD Album". CD Universe. Muze. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
  13. ^ a b "Van Hunt Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
  14. ^ "Grammy Award-Nominated New Soul Sensation Van Hunt Set With Follow-Up to Acclaimed 2004 Self-Titled 'R&B Debut of the Year'; YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW Arrives on April 4th" (Press release). Los Angeles: PRNewswire. January 18, 2006. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
  15. ^ Van Hunt (CD liner). Van Hunt. Capitol Records. 2004. CDP 7243 5 35233 0 5.CS1 maint: others (link)

External links[edit]