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Mace & Crown | March 24, 2018

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Monarch Music Minute: Gucci Mane, Dirty Heads, dvsn

Adam Flores | Senior Writer

Gucci Mane – ‘Mr. Davis’ 💿💿💿

Courtesy Atlantic Recording Corporation

Enlisting a host of A-list artists including Migos, The Weeknd and Ty Dolla $ign, veteran rapper Gucci Mane’s eleventh studio set, “Mr. Davis,” follows on the heels of his “Droptopwop” mixtape he dropped back in May.

“Make Love (feat. Nicki Minaj),” with its hard driving bass beat inflections and minimalist music accompaniment, was the first single released back in February followed by lead single “Tone it Down (feat. Chris Brown)” in June. “Tone it Down” presents a more musical and rhythmically lyrical verse section approach with sparse, colorful instrumentation over a deep beat, yet engineers the overused Kanye Auto-Tune production vocals vibe in its chorus sections.

“I Get the Bag (feat. Migos)” is another deep beat track with a rhythmically challenging narrative with occasional Auto-Tune punch-ins. Again, with a minimal soundset, the track falls short in soaring sonically taking the lyrics to new places emotionally.

“Curve (feat. The Weeknd)” again depends on Auto-Tune production vocals throughout, yet starts off with a hyper-induced lyric presentation that appears to want to go somewhere sonically, yet stays in the pocket, even backing off later on in the track.

Gucci Mane’s “Mr. Davis” would be better served with more sonic elements and less Auto-Tune.

You can stream the album on Spotify here.

Dirty Heads – ‘SWIM TEAM’ 💿💿💿💿💿 

Courtesy Five Seven Music

American reggae-rock hybrid Dirty Heads offer their sixth studio release, “SWIM TEAM.” Their previous releases, 2014’s “Sound of Change” and 2016’s self-titled effort, saw the Huntington Beach, California, group earn No. 1 and No. 2 positions respectively on Billboard’s Alternative Album’s chart.

“Sound of Change” saw Dirty Heads delve into ‘dare to be different’ territory relinquishing any epitomic label placed on them by listeners. “SWIM TEAM” continues their eclectic approach serving up hip-hop, reggae, dubstep and alternative flavors along with a host of other sonic elements. Also keeping things fresh, collaborations with various industry heavyweights take this compilation to a whole new level compared to their previous albums.

The overarching theme encompassed on “SWIM TEAM” has to do with dealing with fame, not acquiring it, per se. For DH, they quickly rose to fame early on in their career, yet found that living with the amount of success they garnered also brought on less joy in creating new music in their musical journey.

Tracks such as “Vacation,” So Glad You Made It (feat. Nick Hexum)” and “Celebrate (feat. The Unlikely Candidates)” demonstrate Dirty Heads’ clean production and visceral approach to their new material keeping things upbeat throughout the record.

You can stream the album on Spotify here.

dvsn – ‘Morning After’ 💿💿💿💿💿 

Courtesy OVO Sound / Warner Bros. Records Inc.

“Morning After” is the sophomore offering from Canadian R&B duo, dvsn (pronounced as division), which is comprised of Daniel Daley and Nineteen85. Singles “Think About Me,” “Don’t Choose” and “Mood” foreshadowed the new album while its artwork possesses a movie poster-like aesthetic, reflecting the movie soundtrack vibe within their compositions.

Lead track “Run Away” begins the story with ominous orchestral strings and light vocal effects before divulging into a syncopated beat with alternating falsetto and gritty vocal treatments as the song suggests, “Run away I’m no good for you / Run and find somebody better / Someone who is ready for you / While I get my life together.”

“Morning After” continues throughout on its cinematic run utilizing a variety of ear-catching beats and gentle, plush soundscapes under clean and lyrical impulsive vocal treatments. Each track takes the listener to new places emotionally and visually.

“P.O.V.,” which samples Maxwell’s “Fortunate,” a track featured on the 1999 movie soundtrack “Life” starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence, cleverly provides the backdrop to a refreshing scene as patience and respect for a woman is considered first in seeking a relationship.

dvsn’s “Morning After” offers a transverse R&B perspective with infectious sonic elements.

You can stream the album on Spotify here.

Rating System:

💿  – Face palm.

💿💿  – Eh…

💿💿💿 – We’re getting there.

💿💿💿💿  – I’ll listen to it twice, even.

💿💿💿💿💿 – Hell yes!