Stephon Foster has been releasing singles for a while now, slowly but surely putting out that unique sound – that voice and style of songwriting. After a long wait, the full length album is finally available, and it’s one that brings together a number of those now familiar songs with a collection of further originals.
Stephon Foster’s writing throughout this project is decidedly emotional, beginning with the unmistakable Boy, I Quit, delicacy and regret intertwine as Foster pours truth and soul into the process. The finish, production-wise, really lets the intricate nature of these songs stand as tall as they possibly can.
I’m Not The One follows the opener and brings through a quickly likable hip hop vibe and a higher energy level. Great rhythm and a story-line that connects in an instant, this song showcases a really strong melody and a brilliant performance from all involved. A definite early highlight, superb production again lets the natural strengths of the song work their magic. The drop to the hook is beautifully uplifting.
I’m Sorry brings the mood back to mellow with the bare essentials – piano, a light beat, a scattering of vocal fragments. Foster’s voice meanders impressively as this regretful and heartfelt song pours through. The title track afterwards exemplifies many of the album’s underlying sentiments and emerges with confidence and a chaotic gathering of voices. Snake then adds a dark and confident hip hop moment again, seeing Foster lead with rhythm and boldness.
Stay In My Dreams kicks up a sense of brightness at the half way point. An eighties beat hits hard and the melodic riff in the distance adds musical personality. Steady Creating’s feature helps light up the bigger moments in a stylish way. Then you get the gentle and classic tones of Rain, with Surron the 7th – another impressive feature; a brilliant rap voice, great rhythm and inspiring lyrics. This song is a definite highlight for its beautifully manic yet simultaneously dreamlike and expressive aura.
Towards the end of the album, Love, Yeah leads with a creative beat that takes its time to build. Further relationship realizations emerge, regret and possibility meet to see Foster consider the past followed by the future. Priorities with Nick Acevedo then appears with a nineties RnB ballad vibe, mellow and intimate, easily making for the stand-out love or romance track on the project.
At the penultimate moment, Wonderland kicks up with a superb soundscape and an engaging verse melody – short lines and a simple, memorable tune, with heightened peaks at the end of each section, all helps make this an absolute personal favourite from the album. The stripped back, piano-led tones of Blue follow and bring the album to a quietly thoughtful and passionate finish.
Blue is poetic and balances metaphorical imagery with personal dashes of experience and emotion. The softness of the presentation works well as the final song – rather than going out with a bang, Foster utilizes these closing moments to remind listeners of the heart and soul that ultimately drives every track in the collection. Stephon Foster puts everything into this moment, space and an up front and personal presentation lays bare the intricacies in the voice and that deep, honest connection to the lyrics. A strong finish to a passionate and intentional, stylistically unique album.