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Ivy Sole - Candid Music Album Reviews

Ivy Sole - Candid Music Album Reviews
The Philly rapper examines growth and longing with a mature assuredness, imbuing her latest album with moments of modest warmth.

Philadelphia vocalist Ivy Sole is a master of the slow burn. Her narratives unfold in the early, indefinite stages of partnership, attuned to the little signals and concessions upon which affection and submission rely. Her restrained ballads form a diametric counterpoint to the rapturous deliverance favored by dream-pop acts such as Now, Now and Carly Rae Jepsen. Where those artists’ songs alight upon a transcendent, in-the-moment urgency, Sole dwells in the languid aftermath, asking: Now what?

“See, a fault is a beginning, and a fault is an end/We could talk eroding patience, or give lips to the wind,” she raps on “Nights Like This,” a pensive confessional from her latest album Candid. While the new record shares a spare sensibility with its predecessor, 2020’s cerebral SOUTHPAW EP, its wistful instrumentals and easy transitions make for a brighter listen. On “Bamboo,” synthetic drums and muted horns are layered with a light electro-funk touch; the yearning “One More Night” is punctuated with soaring Jodeci-style harmonies. On downtempo tracks, Sole volleys between full-bodied melodies and conversational rapping. Even when she’s at her most laidback, the discursive bridges and interludes recall the winding arrangements of neo-soul maximalists like Res and Rahsaan Patterson.

The diaristic quality is curious given Candid’s lack of linear arcs. Consistent with Sole’s earlier work, the album’s digressions explore overarching themes of love and self-discovery. For all their placid ambiance, the reflections on faith and desire aren’t uncomplicated. An Ivy Leaguer raised in a Southern Christian tradition, Sole identifies as queer and non-binary; infatuation often leaves a trail of unanswered questions in its wake. “Dangerous” addresses an unrequited crush: “And if it sounds like worship, worst case, I’m a sinner/Seeking redemption in the haze of your glimmer.” Much of the album is relayed in the second person, and duets with Kingsley Ibeneche, Bathe, and Topaz Jones add dimension to missed connections, trains passing in the proverbial night.

The program is briefly suspended on Candid’s more hard-nosed rap tracks. On the double-time showcase “Chico,” Sole’s punchlines arrive with a battle rhymer’s sleight-of-hand; the Lil Wayne-inspired “Call Me” feels like a meta-exercise in mixtape acrobatics. Her wordy incantations straddle disparate traditions, but the polymath approach isn’t overly busy or scattered. While her sound complements second-wave neo-soul acts like Mereba and Yaya Bey, the compositions also resemble Oakland singer Mystic’s 2001 debut Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom, an eerily introspective record that balanced gospel-tinged melodies with steely rap verses. Throughout Candid, Sole examines growth and longing with an adult’s assuredness, imbuing disconsolate moments with a modest warmth. “Me and the truth, see, we’ve been closing the distance/You might hear yours, too, if you listen,” she sings on “Bamboo.” It’s music to sit with, content to let the action occur offscreen.

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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.
Ivy Sole - Candid Music Album Reviews Ivy Sole - Candid Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 Rating: 5

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