Five years after his debut album, Lady Lady, Jamaican-American musician Masego has released his self-titled sophomore album. In 2020, the musician released an EP called Studying Abroad, followed by a deluxe edition later that year. This resulted in Masego earning his first Grammy nomination.
Masego consists of 14 tracks including: “Say You Want Me,” “You Never Visit Me,” and “Two Sides (I’m So Gemini)”. In addition, it combines R&B, hip-hop, jazz, and soul to create the sound of Masego. It also experiments with creative elements; displaying the artist’s growth.
This is done immediately on the opening track “Black Anime,” where Masego sets the tone for what’s to come. Featuring smooth vocals and slick production, this body of work is an excellent example of Masego’s trap-house-jazz sound. Filled with midtempo joints, each track displays his vibe. Tracks such as “Sax Fifth Avenue,” “Bye Bye My Love,” and “In Style” feature the artist’s signature saxophone. Furthermore, as the album progresses, the theme of loneliness is present. This appears specifically on the tracks “Down In The Dumps” and “You Never Visit Me”. Throughout these tracks, Masego describes loneliness and feeling unwanted – the feeling of emptiness.
Although most of the album consists of mid-tempo, sombre melodies, there are a couple of tracks that divert from this. For example, standout tracks “What You Wanna Try” and “Say You Want Me” fit this bill. The latter embraces a more dancehall-like sound. It features background vocals performed by DESTIN CONRAD, Ambré, Ari PenSmith, and Mannywellz. “What You Wanna Try” has a distinct sound – sampling “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega and Craig David’s “What’s Your Flava?“.
Despite having no features on the album, Masego worked with several talented writers and producers to craft his second LP. As a result, the music takes listeners on a journey – with melodies that seep into your brain.
Masego’s sophomore record displays the artist’s sound in a compelling manner. Some parts of the album may feel slow with midtempo, sombre sounds being the key feel of the project. He displays his vocals as well as his rapping abilities – often sounding like spoken word poetry over mellow beats. There are some elements of true funk and jazz, adding to the album’s fresh, distinct feel. Masego describes the album as “my life in melody form”. With this record, fans of the musician won’t be disappointed.
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