Sep 16, 2019

Album Review: Suburbia EP - @DrewTheRecluse

Drew the Recluse is a real life Swiss army knife and chameleon. He sings, he raps, he rages, and he books a lot of local shows. I often find myself asking the same question about artists who struggle identifying themselves and their sound:

The tweet was a complaint but not one about the Black Suburbia artist. We all know singers who rap and rappers who sing, but there's not many do both at the SAME clip. When you see a set from Drew you may see him sing more of his R&B, Pop or Alternative songs but I've also heard Drew bars that have made me make a stink face. Which route does Suburbia EP take? Let's get to it.

I won't be before you long as Drew has made my job easy today. Suburbia is only a ten minute listen. Four tracks and one of them is a 2.7 second intro. That introduction appeals to our senses with ambient natural sound of what I could imagine to be the cul-de-sac that is the album art. Pictures say a thousand words but the audio definite adds a thousand more. I enjoyed the mix because it crossfades into Survive so smoothly. I hate making artist comparisons but Survive sounds like a song Kid Cudi would sing if he were as good a vocalist as Drew. The feel of the music gets a little darker with the next track Everytime. After the trap 808s and hi-hats intro us in, Drew comes in with a more aggressive 16. 

"I've been accustomed to casual lust on a Sunday, I don't got time for no love."

Enter our only feature on the project, Solo Dolor. He really shines on this hook crooning to a former lover whose interests seem unrequited. This was well done. If you haven't yet you got to see this live. I was backstage jamming to this at NJ Live 3. I've been listening to the New Zealots Oath for awhile now since he gave me the early scoop. It still has that replay value after all this time.

Hip-Hop is so interesting. I wrote my senior thesis and soon to be book about its complexities using examples of how regional it is. If you listen to rap all over the country the flavor sounds different which isn't really something you can say for Rock, Country, or any other genre birthed in the United States. Drew dips and dabs in a lot of different hip-hop sounds let alone singing other genres of music. That's what makes him special. I lock in with him on the messaging and identification. Black Suburbia, that is the life for a lot of us and the goal of our parents and the generations before them. Growing up in Ocean then moving to Neptune, my experiences align with Drew's scope and appreciate hearing it in audio form from a person a little less nerdy but just as artistic as Donald Glover (although I love his full discography too).

Word from Drew is there's another EP in the works then a full length album. There was another bonus track titled Sometimes that didn't make the cut in this listen. I'm curious to see if we'll see it later on. Drew the Recluse has been working. You see why we told you to look out for him this year. Do yourself a favor: Check out Suburbia - EP on your favorite streaming platform by CLICKING HERE. I need you to feel this.
Jonathan C. Ramsey
Jonathan C. Ramsey

Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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