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Saturday June 15th

‘Larger Than Life’: Brent Faiyaz’s attempt to out-do himself

<p><em>The album was nicely sprinkled with features, including A$AP Rocky, Missy Elliot, Babyface Ray and Coco Jones. (Photo Courtesy of </em><a href="https://music.apple.com/us/album/larger-than-life/1710673514" target=""><em>Apple Music</em></a><em>)</em></p>

The album was nicely sprinkled with features, including A$AP Rocky, Missy Elliot, Babyface Ray and Coco Jones. (Photo Courtesy of Apple Music)

By Bailei Burgess-Simmons 
Staff Writer

Brent Faiyaz released his fourth solo album, “Larger than Life,” on Oct. 27. The album, consisting of 14 songs, continues his typical contemporary R&B sound full of his staple slow jam production and silky smooth vocals. 

“Larger than Life” was a beautifully crafted piece of work, with the perfect balance of songs worth a good head bop and swoon-worthy ballads. 

The album was nicely sprinkled with features, including A$AP Rocky, Missy Elliot, Babyface Ray and Coco Jones, just to name a few. 

“Tim’s Intro,” although short, is probably my favorite with its attractively included violin, its “Scrub” by TLC sample and percussion are reminiscent of an early Justin Timberlake and Timberland collaboration. 

“Belong To You (feat. BabyFace Ray),” in Faiyaz fashion, is a toxic love song where he details loving someone even if they’re not always living up to the standard or reciprocating despite his own games. BabyFace Ray complements the song very well with a rap verse contribution, making the record a bit less serious and better because of that.

“WY@” delivers a silky smooth vocal performance fit with a diverse range and almost blues-like percussion to match. It sets a sweet, sensual mood.

My favorite song on the album was “Outside All Night,” featuring A$AP Rocky and N3WYRKLA. I can only describe the record as gangster hip-hop meets an ethereal fairy. The features bring a depth and personality to the track that no other feature accomplished as satisfactorily. 

These records were just a few on the project worth listening to, but definitely a great place to start.

Today, where so little R&B music sounds like the traditional rhythm and blues we heard growing up, Faiyaz has made a point of continuously incorporating that classic sound that we are all too deprived of. 

The album succeeds “Wasteland,” which remains my favorite album of his to date. “Wasteland” was amongst the first albums of his which truly gave us a variety. 

Faiyaz made a point of showing that while R&B was his primary genre, he could do much more. The album showcased his ability to merge his sound with hip-hop, rap and some pop. 

Considering this, I was disappointed to find that “Larger than Life” was not nearly as diverse. However, I can appreciate the way Faiyaz put in work to improve his sound. 

As usual, his production and musicality were on point. This, combined with his dynamic vocal ability and his focus on percussion, made the album easy on the ears. 

In terms of content, I found many of the songs to be thematically repetitive. While I generally enjoy Faiyaz’s songwriting and lyricism, there is only so much I can take of the normal toxic relationship and haters-hating jargon. 

From one song to another, the transitions are seamless and smooth. However, this proved to be both a gift and a curse. Although it lends to a greater, more cohesive sound, at times it also makes many of the already similar songs blend. 

Altogether, “Larger Than Life” proves again Faiyaz’s versatility and ability to consistently produce quality music. While not better than his previous project, in my opinion, the album beautifully fuses his newer, more contemporary sound with that of the traditional R&B greatness. 

I sense this album will continue to get plays on my account, as with every listen, I find more that I enjoy about it.




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