By Colton Davis
Artist: The Flavr Blue
Album: Love Notes EP
Label: The Flavr Blue
Release Date: December 8, 2015
Love Notes, the independently recorded and released second EP from The Flavr Blue since their 2012 album Pisces, is proving quite difficult to categorize. Fronted by Hollis Wong-Wear, best known for her vocals on Macklemore’s “White Walls”, they could best be described as ‘soup’. Bear with me, no two songs are the same style on this EP but I feel that they lack a cohesive sound. If you look at one of the better tracks, “Supply,” you’ll find a strange mix of Beach Fossils-esque guitars, droning analog synths, trap beats and soaring, dream poppy vocals. The first half of “Oxygen (feat. Jarell Perry)” plays out like a cut rate deep house track you’d hear blaring through the speakers at Abercrombie & Fitch, whereas the second half layers the UK bass sound with chopped vocals and minimally-processed 808’s.
The low point of the EP, however, is “Pretty Girl”. Even if you could somehow move past the DJ Mustard soundalike beat, the vocals, handled exclusively by YMTK (a SoundCloud rapper from Los Angeles who makes songs called “Hella Super High” and “It’s Lit”) sound exactly like Chris Brown if he was a SoundCloud rapper who… you get the point. However, “No Other Lover” is a funky, laid back bassy jam with tight production and really tasteful instrumentation, and Wong-Wear actually sings with some soul; it’s a pretty good song.
I want to like this album because the production is (mostly) top notch and there are some parts which shine with coherence and vision but unfortunately, the songwriting is too weak and the style is too varied. There are no ear worms to be found here (not that I expected any, but I at least expect some aspect of the music to ‘stick’,) and overall, I found it a chore to listen to for the purpose of this review, which is quite disappointing.
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