Dua Saleh - Crossover EP Music Album Reviews

Dua Saleh - Crossover EP Music Album Reviews
Transforming their past solemnity into swaggering confidence, the Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter and rapper returns with an EP of thunderous club music.

CROSSOVER is warehouse music; it sounds like the lights are off, or maybe strobing. On previous EPs—2020’s ROSETTA and 2019’s acclaimed Nūr—Sudanese American artist Dua Saleh fleshed out a genre-defying niche that alternated gospel-influenced vocals and languid, poetic rapping over stark synths. Their goal for CROSSOVER was different: “to make music people could dance to.” Saleh’s gift for flow translates into a hypnotic mélange of club anthems with a hallucinogenic delivery. With collaborators including rapper and singer Duckwrth and Bajan American horrorcore rapper Haleek Maul, CROSSOVER introduces a bubblier, more upbeat sound. But even when working with certified pop producers like STINT (NAO, Gallant) and Kyle Shearer (Tove Lo, Melanie Martinez), Saleh maintains the tenacity and sarcasm that has become inextricable from their resonant drawl.

Saleh’s background as a poet shines through on CROSSOVER, where grandiose musings on identity and rebirth (“I can see the future in the fire and the fodder”) hold their own alongside swaggering declarations of sexual prowess. Saleh’s disarming, somnolent tone intensifies each statement until it boils over; even the silliest repeated quips, like “I got them buzzing like a bee,” lodge themselves into the brain. The solemnity of their previous work is transformed into a blustering self-confidence that serves as CROSSOVER’s foundation, even as the EP runs the gamut from austere, house-influenced beats to twinkling electro-R&B.

Incorporating Afrobeats and hip-hop into what Saleh calls “trans-interdimensional pop,” the EP’s first half establishes a thumping, bass-driven club sound grounded in their earlier, rap-oriented work. Boosted by harsh, industrial beats, “fitt” has the hardest entrance in Saleh’s catalog as their boasts about newfound international fame echo over clanging drums: “Boom, Mumbai, wanna feel my grit/People in the Bronx wanna take a trip.” And while Amaarae’s whispery, pixie-like feature provides a refreshing contrast to the brusqueness of Saleh’s chorus, her fluttering vocal belies her confidence: “Every time I do it, shawty pop for me/Feeling like a n**** won the lottery.” On “tic tic,” the EP’s hands-down, arms-up standout, Saleh and Haleek Maul spar in Spanish, Arabic, and patois over a beat that falls somewhere between reggae and grime. Building off the haunted dancefloor energy of “fitt,” “tic tic” is Saleh at their most captivating, carrying an undeniable menace with each bouncing step.

“trash snacks” steers the record towards a glossier, more frenetic plane. Cranking up the distortion on Saleh’s vocals and piling on soapy, glitching synths over reverberating bass, it’s a saccharine anthem that kisses the speakers before blowing them out entirely. The song’s brattiness is a much-welcomed foil to CROSSOVER’s overall thundering swagger, but when Saleh spits, “Don’t you call me baby ’bout your little fucking snacks,” in a baby voice modulated to PC Music-level heights, the venom is instantly recognizable.

Although the closing “fav flav” falls superficially in line with the shiny electropop of “trash snacks,” it’s the EP’s weakest point. While Duckwrth’s suave vocals flow like honey, his unmemorable feature and the song’s relatively tame production are a poor fit; lines like “Hot like Megan’s frame” and “Cartier frames, no shade” match the lighthearted tone yet fall flat, even when Saleh sings along. Saleh thrives when they take risks, so the daring experimentalism of “trash snacks” is where they seem most at home. Synthesizing the macabre and the dainty into sublime club music, their new vision is ambitious and riveting.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Dua Saleh - Crossover EP Music Album Reviews Dua Saleh - Crossover EP Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on November 04, 2021 Rating: 5


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