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  • Writer's pictureErnessa S.

Review of KAYTRANADA's 'TIMELESS'

Listen, KAYTRANADA hasn’t dropped a solo album since 2019 (BUBBA). "TIMELESS" caters to the idea of black house being fun and creative, and the music feels very unique to him & his sound.


KAYTRANADA featured on Rolling Stone.
KAYTRANADA featured on May's 'Rolling Stone'

I know the sound will be subjective in its quality because there’s just some things you have to understand about funk and electronic music, and depending on your degree of knowledge, it will decipher that for you. The title is somewhat funny because this is such an album that reflects what it means to pay attention to time. Let’s get into some tracks from KAYTRANADA’s album, TIMELESS, released weeks ago on June 7th.



Starting off with "Pressure", what a start to show the loudness of this album as we hear high hats, drums, and beautiful control of the intensity of bass in the production. I think a big shout out should go to engineer Lauren D’Elia, as she engineered and mastered most of the tracks; there was a significant amount of consideration towards the equalization of sound heard throughout KAYTRANADA’s music. KAYTRANADA knows how to deliver when it comes to electronic music; a refreshing dance album making house clubs feel like dancing is mandatory.


The features did it justice as well; we see artists such as the Hardstone Psycho, Don Toliver, Durand Bernarr, Lou Phelps, Childish Gambino, Rochelle Jordan and Anderson .Paak, just to name a few. Considering the success of their track "The Worst In Me" from BUBBA, there was definitely excitement acknowledging that Tinashe had a feature on this album as well.


KAYTRANADA and Anderson .Paak.
KAYTRANADA and Anderson .Paak.

I just want to say, off rip, there’s something about "Feel a Way" featuring Don Toliver, that really made me feel a way; first off, I know that sentence was a little corny but we’re going to run with it because if you listened to the song, wouldn’t you agree? The song feels intentionally sexy with the dark, Halloween-like instrumental as Don Toliver softens the intensity with his voice, despite the lyrics speaking of what seems to be the end of a relationship; I personally felt like they moved with intention of trying to make listeners think of that person. It’s like you’re realizing how that person moved on quickly and how it affected you but at the same time, you still like them. Now, how is it that with lyrics promoting those feelings, that you want to dance? Can you tell that this song was my favorite track?


If you heard that Don Toliver track, then you heard when it became "Weird", because Durand Bernarr was not afraid to play with the different octaves of his voice on this one. What a funky and groovy ass song; it’s so interesting to hear what seems to be an influence from funk music in the '70s. The aesthetics of funk, as with many other genres, are persevered as samples in many songs, but it is this song in particular that screams so much in volume what it means to be "funky". The repetitive and rhythmic patterns, intensified by bass and claps, just brings out blackness and happiness in a way that mimics the excitement that came with the creation of "funk" to begin with.


Look, this song is a very honorable mention, if you want a song to analyze and pick apart, this song is the one; I hope if you do, you’re able to recognize why every single part in the production and overall creation of this song is important and liberating. Very timeless.


I’m really interested in how this album will feel like in the Fall, especially with songs like "Witchy" featuring Childish Gambino, and "Stepped On". Childish Gambino blessed us with that '3005' feeling while also being explosive with how he sung his lyrics; overall giving us a feeling that’s expressive and purposeful. This is one of the songs you scream in the middle of the club's dance floor. I don’t even want to get into details about songs such as "Stepped On", "Please Babe" & "Dance Dance Dance Dance", because in the most respectful but simplistic way possible, these are just groovy ass dance songs and that’s all they are. Dance music.


The only thing I personally didn’t understand was involving Thundercat on this album; I think "Wasted Words" oddly enough wasn’t my cup of tea despite being a fan of Thundercat's. It just felt out of place; every other song screamed "DANCE!" but this song was just there? It’s like the odd looking man in the corner of the club just standing there; you just can’t tell if he’s having a good time or not and you can’t understand why he’s there.


Besides that, I genuinely enjoyed the whole album and it was a great surprise to hear PinkPantheress with "Snap My Finger". It took me a couple of listens to appreciate the album; it didn’t appeal to me as quickly as BUBBA did, but with more listens, I could understand why this would be considered to be a fantastic dance album. What a refreshing listen and truly TIMELESS.


KAYTRANADA DJing.

Rating: 8.1/10


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