A wise man once said, “Even the worst Frank Ocean song is better than 90% of all songs.” Destin Conrad puts this theory into full effect with his debut album COLORWAY. Conrad pulls heavily from early Drake and Frank Ocean in his cadences and even uses beats which echo tracks off Ocean’s Nostalgia Ultra on tracks like “LAZY.” The wise man’s quote still stands true, and although he obviously wears his inspirations proudly, Conrad tapped into the same early 2010 formulas that made those hits popular. He has the talent to create catchy hooks and ride along wavy nostalgic beats, but it leaves something to be desired. At some point though, the knockoff becomes so good you really don’t even care anymore. That’s the half space this new album occupies.
James K’s newest release, 036, is anxious and understated in its creativity, constantly creating new ways to lull you into a daze that feels like the glorious moments before overdosing on antidepressants. If that seems oddly specific, listen to the album yourself. It sounds exactly like that. James K (real name Jamie Krasner) is an artist who’s worked in close contact with the likes of Yves Tumor, featured on the first track, “Open.” Krasner uses an oddly satisfying combo of light guitar riffs and synths over nonchalant singing voice, routinely playing with different sounds dialed to perfection since her last big project, PET, in 2016. And if the project really does feel like an antidepressant overdose, than the final song, “I Can Not Remember,” is definitely the Narcan shot when the paramedics get there. Overall, 036 is a tightly knit project bursting with creativity. High marks for the Yves Tumor pupil.
My last concert before the pandemic was a Yeek concert. I left the venue with only half of my glasses and a smile I couldn’t wipe off my face even if I tried. So this review is gonna be a little biased. Yeek has been one fo the most consistent RnB pop artists of the last couple of years, which may seem innocuous but is incredibly impressive considering the turnover that industry creates. After coming into fame from his much-acclaimed 2017 album Sebastian, he’s continued to release hit single after hit single with the occasional EP, eventually culminating with his sophomore album released last week, Valencia.
Yeek has this innate knack for the “bounce” needed in any good RnB song, coupled with his angelic voice and some insane guitar riffs. I could go on forever. This album and his discography as a whole really have no weak links. Over time he’s come into the fold of RnB stardom because he’s one of the most consistent artists working. There’s no revolutionary shift in style, he just plays to the strengths of RnB and does it very, very well. In an industry trying to break from the mold, he’s mastered the classics. That’s why he’s stood out.