Van Hunt is one of my very favorite current artists, along with Alicia Keys and John Legend. And this guy is GOOD — if you’re into neo-soul, or even just R&B, you HAVE to listen to him.

His new album drops today — it’s called “On the Jungle Floor.” His music is R&B but there’s no hip-hop — it has more of an alternative sound to it. It’s like nothing out there nowadays — this guy isn’t an Usher clone with digitally enhanced music like so many artists try to be nowadays. Van Hunt has so much TALENT — he’s an amazing songwriter and producer, and he plays a ton of instruments. And he has PLENTY of critical acclaim. His first, self-titled album was one of People’s top ten albums of 2004. People just rated “On the Jungle Floor” with four stars this week.

In terms of who he sounds like, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly, because he’s so original. It’s like a hybrid Sly Stone, Curtis Mayfield, The Isley Brothers and Prince. He doesn’t do anything terribly modern, so it’s almost as if an album like his first could have come straight out of the 70s (by far my favorite decade for music), but the instruments were mixed up and totally new….

The only thing is, he isn’t nearly as popular as he should be. If only he were a little more popular, he could have so much acclaim. He’s had one Grammy nomination so far, but he could go SO FAR. People went so far as to say that he could even start a legacy of his own.

So please take a few minutes to check him out! He has music on his myspace and his official site. It’s really, really good stuff. *EDIT* It IS on iTunes, and “Character” is the first single, but it doesn’t show up when you just search for “Van Hunt” — go to his “All Albums” page.

His first album, Vant Hunt, is also worth a listen. My favorite songs on it change all the time, but “Dust” and “Down Here In Hell (With You)” are awesome.

Oh — he’s also coming to New York on May 3 and 4. Anybody want to come?