It's impossible to divorce music from the social, cultural, and physical spaces that it was born out of and exists in, and when it comes to musicians perfectly evoking a particular location, KAYTRANADA is one of the industry's most accomplished magicians. His production, songwriting, and groove-driven sensibilities allow him to turn any set of headphones or festival crowd into a 5AM nightclub propelled by killer house beats and even better melodies. It's a staple of his career that brought vivid and lively projects in 99.9%, BUBBA, and the collab album KAYTRAMINÉ. But the question is, does TIMELESS allow us to immerse into that party or are we back to checking our phones?

If you're at all a fan of the Haitian-Canadian creative, it's no surprise that the latter option, albeit a big risk on this new hour-long album, is practically impossible. Compared to previous work, KAYTRANADA built something a little more consistent groove-wise, a little less exploratory in its genre fusions, but even more focused on crisp production, engaging songwriting, and keeping your mellowed attention with few breaks in mood or rhythm. It doesn't always result in a winning formula, but it's very compelling to hear these inspirations from so many genres coalesce into some of his best pop-adjacent material yet. If nothing else, it's proof that the "#RICHAXXHAITIAN" musician can still have tricks up his sleeve even if the goal this time around is constance.

Read More: KAYTRANADA Thanks Freddie Gibbs For His Early Support After Coming Out

TIMELESS Sounds... You Know

"Pressure" is a perfect preview of this, as the rubbery kicks, chopped Lupe and Hov sample, and staccato keys let listeners know that this will go down as one of the funkiest albums of 2024. TIMELESS is a very fitting title, as the album's main strengths are the cleanliness of the production and the cohesion and catchiness that the songwriting offers, aspects that KAYTRANADA owes most deeply to classic house and disco production plus its soul and funk roots. Other instrumental moments like "Dance Dance Dance Dance," "Seemingly," and "Please Babe" are impressive isolations of the beat-making's prowess, whereas cuts like "Witchy" with Childish Gambino, "More Than A Little Bit" with Tinashe, and "Video" with Ravyn Lenae showcase bubbly, buttery, and satisfying interplay between verse melodies, instrumental embellishments, soaring choruses, and tension-building bridges.

Furthermore, as far as the production quality itself, there's a consistent sheen to TIMELESS' tracks that puts it somewhere in between the brightness of 99.9% and the submerged feel of much of BUBBA. It doesn't craft a wholly unique sonic identity, but it definitely switches things up here and there to entice and excite skeptics. There's the melancholy "Feel A Way" with Don Toliver, the frantic and buzzy "Drip Sweat" with Channel Tres, and tender Latin percussion on cuts like "Lover/Friend" with Rochelle Jordan and "Hold On" with Dawn Richard. As for classic KAYTRANADA funk and groove, look no further than the infectious guitars on "Weird" with Durand Bernarr.

Read More: KAYTRANADA Originally Approached To Produce "Honestly, Nevermind"


TIMELESS is perhaps KAYTRANADA's most stacked and well-performing guest list to date. He himself grabs the mic on "Stepped On," which is one of the more frustrated points in the album's constant "highs and lows" narrative about falling in love, having fun, letting go, living in the moment, and all the things that the album doesn't have to say for you to feel through the jams. In terms of chemistry, The collaborative highlight is easily "Do 2 Me" with Anderson .Paak and SiR, with the most progressive instrumental on the record. PinkPantheress also emerges as a no-brainer recipe for collaborative greatness on "Snap My Finger," and we hope there's more on the way.

However, despite the fitting but imperfect transitions and the generally cohesive aesthetics and guests, there are still some bare and stretched-out elements to TIMELESS that both casual listeners and longtime fans might dismiss. While the vocal melodies are always tight, the short runtimes on "Spit It Out" with Rochelle Jordan, "Call U Up" with Lou Phelps, and "Stuntin" with Channel Tres can't save them from feeling disengaged loops towards the end. Still, Thundercat's comical roasting sounds gorgeous on "Wasted Words," and Charlotte Day Wilson's performance is heavenly on "Still," so it's overall not a massive blemish.

Read More: KAYTRANADA's Essential Tracks

What's Next For KAYTRA?

With that in mind, the 31-year-old crafts music that is as lush, fun, catchy, intoxicating, and above all loving as it's ever been on TIMELESS. It feels like the most amorphous, watery, and meticulous genre fusion that he's done up to this point, even if it does sacrifice the vibrance and unpredictability of previous LPs for the consistency and wide appeal of what many might call a "pop era." But KAYTRANADA worked too hard on this tracklist flow, the production, and the quality of the songwriting to say that as a dismissive comment. It's just another step in his evolution, one that seems to target artistic growth in the studio over a sonic change in these sessions' results.

Frankly, TIMELESS further defines the classic KAYTRANADA bounce as a single idea rather than the multi-faceted amalgamation of shifting focuses and appeals that albums like 99.9% are so beloved for. By the time we hit the jittery and wavy "Out Of Luck" with Mariah The Scientist, some aspects of this project might feel redundant to some listeners. But it's primarily a house, funk, and disco record, and one that tactfully succeeds in keeping the groove alive, creating sweetly addictive songs, and immersing you in the party. Here's hoping that KAYTRA's next moves, no matter what direction they go in, continue to champion this timeless dedication and heartfelt passion for the joy of "Think (About It)" drum breaks and the warmth of melody.

Read More: Who Is KAYTRANADA?
The post KAYTRANADA "TIMELESS" Album Review appeared first on HotNewHipHop.

via: https://www.hotnewhiphop.com/814327-kaytranada-timeless-new-album-review-music-news

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