D’Antre impresses with smooth yet softly raspy vocals and a selection of engaging melodies on this latest album. Beginning with the poetic and expressive Last Night, the project involves the listener from the offset, whilst also proving deeply personal and intimate in nature – walking the line effectively between exclusivity and accessibility.
No Excuses follows on and presents an immediately likable soundscape – riding bass melodies and details showcase a notable brightness, and the singer’s vocal melody on top of this works beautifully well in entrancing the listener. A definite early highlight, with stunning production. D’Antre’s voice sounds particularly seductive and unique in this setting.
Genre-wise there’s almost a soft electronic rock vibe to some of these songs. While D’Antre’s vocals follow an RnB pathway for the most part, the music seems eclectic and multi-layered enough to venture out into organic and electronic realms alike. Lyrically too, there’s a strong sense of individuality to much of the writing, relationship turmoil and love undoubtedly make frequent appearances, but D’Antre balances this well with reflection and even simple fun – such as on The Weekend; a strangely dissonant track that lays bare the retro vocal effect being utilized.
During the mid-section of the album, a hint of classic RnB and mellow soul pours through. Lately feels a little D’Angelo-like – not the first time this comparison came up; it’s the smoothness, and the subject mater. Keeping things eclectic again though is Love No More, which follows on with a heavier beat, a hip hop aura and a definite change in energy. Got The Juice then continues with this hip hop inspired groove and quiet confidence.
During the latter half, Certified Drippin’ adds an upbeat few minutes of retro expression, and another impressive melody that leans back towards the track’s two openers. By this point, you know the voice – D’Antre’s most recognisable quality – regardless of the style or genre of a particular track.
Swing My Way is a definite highlight from the final moments. A smooth and strong melody alongside a likable and calming, colourful soundscape. The vocal clarity connects more effectively than any of the more lo-fi offerings from before. Big Thrill Life then injects a further hit of impressive production and melodic development.
By all accounts, the dual book-ends of this project mark the absolute best songs in the list. This final piece offers a fine fusion of hip hop, electronica, and fascinating, poetic lyricism. D’Antre’ even structures his vocal performance in a refreshing way, rising high for two lines at a time, then dropping down low for a softer moment and for the hook. It’s a strong way to go out, and it reminds you of the strengths that make up his best songs throughout the album.
Without a doubt, D’Antre has a sound that’s his at present – it would be interesting to hear this in a more stripped back setting, but for escapism’s purpose the very nature of this playlist works well as it is. A pleasure to listen through.