Alive and kicking
TO label Kendrick Lamar a musician, a rapper or a songwriter and nothing more would be a serious injustice, as he continues his battle against the issues that he believes plague the world today on his latest masterpiece, DAMN.
The opening track Blood begins with his narrative on a struggling individual and ends with a gunshot followed by a recording of a news report on his lyrics that claims that he and other hip hop artistes have perpetuated violence in the United States.
That in itself is a preview of how the rest of the album pans out.
And the album is as aggressive as it is poetic, with as many threats and boasts as it has messages of peace and respect.
It speaks volumes on how in tune Lamar is with current affairs, seeing how he seamlessly goes in and out of both global narratives with personal ones, and describes how they are somehow interrelated.
Judging by the current political climate, both in the United States and worldwide, he could not have picked better lead singles than DNA and Humble.
It’s also important to mention the art and effort put into the music videos for the aforementioned singles.
Which brings us full circle to the point made at the very top: To label Lamar a musician, a rapper or a songwriter and nothing more would be a serious injustice.
Lamar is a vision infused with the confidence and courage to express himself effectively. Meanwhile, the masses listen intently.
5/5 THE SEARCH FOR EVERYTHING John Mayer
WHEN you pop this CD into your player, or look it up on your preferred streaming platform, you’ll be welcomed by a beautiful, jazzy piano progression, supplemented by a bass riff that welcomes you to the newest chapter in John Mayer’s life.
Whether or not you’ve heard his music, if you know of John Mayer you must have heard of his propensity for infidelity and his silky smooth fingers that certainly translate to some fine and impressive guitar playing.
None of the things that endear us to Mayer has left him: The guitars on The Search For Everything will earn the respect of any guitar enthusiast, while his lyrics still undeniably personifies his narrative that has spanned close to two decades.
When listening to most music from artistes, you get caught up by the vocal segments of the song.
Mayer, however, has a knack for making you hit rewind or pull the slider back on his instrumental bridges, with his mesmerising guitar solos often being the highlight, from one track to the other.
Tracks that stand out from the album are Rosie and Emoji Of A Wave, bringing you back to Continuum and Paradise Valley, while Still Feel Like Your Man started the record off on a modern note.
Still, the Mayer we know and love is alive and kicking, though fans who are after a new or even different sound might be left wanting.