Producer nrg has crafted a blissfully enjoyable collection of tracks for this release Love & Violence. Beginning with the delicate jazz-guitar vibes of Broken, a smooth fusion of classic RnB and trip hop emerges and sets the mood beautifully. The crisp yet warm finish on the track works well, the vocal offers up a sense of rhythm and quickness that contrasts just subtly with the delicacy of the soundscape. At the same time, the song itself is incredibly personal – honest and endearing in being so; very easy to escape into and connect with.
Saks follows the opener and leads with a similarly mellow feel but a darker, more melancholy vibe – led by a piano and a heavier, faster beat. The vocal flow also pours through at twice the speed, feeling like more of an anthem – references seem familiar and rooted in today’s hip hop world in many ways. Even so, the way the whole thing moves is energizing – it’s hard not to find yourself swept away by the groove.
Drugs continues with more of that same style, easy to recognise at this point. There’s volume and intensity to this one though – it feels a little like an amped-up version of something The Weeknd might put out. As things progress, the lyrics see the artist really offer up a part of himself that few would dare to. This realness is likely to be greatly appreciated, particular by those who would choose this kind of music to warm up an isolated evening and to help them feel less alone.
Took A Trip stands out for its space and the higher tone of the melody. The soundscape has a stop and start nature, the vocal has a sense of urgency – the whole thing feels manic yet in control; a well executed presentation of juxtaposed emotions to fit the story-line. This grows to be something of a highlight, the creativity works well and helps keep things interesting. Bag Run afterwards recaptures any wandering attention with some gentle, organic instrumentation. The song within this again offers a lyrical density that makes a single listen far from enough to really capture every thought. Check follows and keeps that energy and flow constant to maintain the vibe.
At the penultimate moment, idkydc appears as a deeply thoughtful and ambient piece that takes a more chilled out approach. The lyrics are clear, calm yet still as honest as ever. There’s a feeling of realization to the song, a sense of struggle but subsequent overcoming – of possibility, moving past worry and sadness. The track clearly has a distinct sentiment and purpose about it. The melody is also one of the most memorable of the whole project. That passion and love that’s showcased throughout the track shines brightly among such a simple and quiet back-beat.
Doyouknowyou follows and is all of this and more – a hugely recognizable and powerful song with a definite sense of intention and depth. A strong way to finish, utilising skill, considerate writing, and a sheer love for the genre to remind audiences why all of this came about.
Love & Violence offers up quite precisely what the title implies. An impressive collection with a brilliantly polished finish, and nrg is still just 19 years old – the future looks set to bring a whole host of great releases.