Music Reviews: 30 by Adele, CAPRISONGS by FKA Twigs, DS4EVER by Gunna, Signal by Sunday Saari

This shit was no doubt one of my favorite projects of the year. Adele ain’t ever disappointed us and she conTINues to sound even more incredible every year. With a six-year hiatus following "25" the anticipation for "30" was hotttttt. What has set this album apart from the rest for me, is how many different sounds Adele cultivates. From "Cry Your Heart Out," to "All Night Parking," she continues to provide something new on every piece. Now, what was crazy was her making this mainly about her divorce, a part of her life we have only been able to see through the media. Not only does she let us in on this experience, but she holds a magnifying glass to every detail of her life that this experience has affected. "My Little Love," one of the most vulnerable tracks on this record, comes to mind in this instance as we hear the conversations she has with her child about her feelings, something I believe that should be a more common occurrence among parents and their children. She reminds us that there is no perfect way to do anything in this life, how important it is to live presently, and that we are enough exactly as we are. Be patient with yourself. Forgive yourself. Healing is not linear.

Favorite lyric: "When you’re in doubt go at your own pace"
Favorite tracks: "All Night Parking," "To Be Loved," "My Little Love"

FKA twigs
I fucking love this mixtape. It gets better after every listen. In the amount of detail and nuance with melodies, countermelodies, and spoken word passages, FKA delivers an ethereal record with an incredible catalog of sounds. I feel like I’m listening to a fairy in a forest. She sounds like candy, fr y’all. The inventiveness of this project is apparent from start to finish. She somehow manages to add something unexpected on every track. From tracks like "ride the dragon" to "meta angel" to "minds of men," the production sits in a world between hyperpop, r&b, and hip hop and fuses them seamlessly. And to close out the whole thing (ugh y’all this shit really had me in my feels fr) the final track "thank you song" hitssssss. Like even if you don’t got nobody that makes you feel like that right now, you still gon feel everything she’s saying and that is the mark of good writing. It’ll make you wish you had someone to be sad about. What sticks out for me though is the inclusion of spoken word passages, which mostly are just voice memos of conversations between FKA and people who I’m assuming are her friends. It somehow made me feel even closer to her and reminded me of conversations I have with my own friends. There’s a layer of youthfulness, yet we can sense that this is still a period of growth and change for her, as it is for all of us.

Favorite lyric: "Lay down your fears, baby, ain’t nobody die from it, no"
Favorite tracks: "ride the dragon," "meta angel," "lightbeamers," "pamplemousse," "careless," "darjeeling," "thank you song"

This album ain’t really pushin P if I’m being totally honest. It’s pretty listenable, and if you pay attention, there are some pretty hilarious lines. Overall though, it's fine. While there are a few tracks that offer a bit more substance than the rest, I kinda expected more from a 20 track album. I think Gunna’s strength lies in his more collaborative projects. Coming off more recent projects like "Drip Harder" and "Slime Language 2" as well as his "Lemonade" feature, I was interested to see what he has to offer at this point in his career on an album with limited features. I think most of the production leaves a lot to be desired. That being said, I do appreciate the more vulnerable moments on the album, specifically on "livin wild" and "you & me" both of which include some pretty great samples that serve the story telling very well. And not to mention that Chlöe’s feature on "you & me" was exactly what the song needed. This one wasn’t that memorable for me. But keep pushin P y’all.

Favorite lyrics: "She not a lesbian, for P, she turn Pesbian"
Favorite tracks: "how you did that," "you & me," "livin wild," "thought i was playin"

Sunday Saari
With her very first EP, Carnegie Mellon’s very own Sunday Saari is one to be on the lookout for. While that has always been the case from her first single, "August," to her first collaborative work, "Things Change" with Laughton Royce, another rising artist with an album on the way, to her final single before this EP, "Waves," lemme just tell y’all we were readyyyyyyyy. And lemme tell you something else … she ate. Opening with "Jaded" was just such a smart choice. It’s like I’m being swaddled in a blanket and carried to a pool where you can only hear the rest of the songs when you’re in the water. Such a wonderful ease and care to bring the audience in and prepare us for what’s to come. The opening guitar is so gentle and honest and simple anyone can listen to this. I personally feel like this track would also be just as effective as an album closer. There’s something so complete about it yet it leaves me with a sense of longing. Then we move on to "August" which lemme tell y’all right this instant, is one hell of a first single. The vocals themselves let you know exactly who you’re dealing with. Overall, writing and vocals are on point. Keep up with Sunday Saari!

Favorite lyric: "Rise and fall, rebuilding a soul, after liars and thieves, use and leave"
Favorite track: "Jaded"