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BAYNK - Adolescence Music Album Reviews

BAYNK - Adolescence Music Album Reviews
Pushing beyond his playlist origins, the New Zealand producer’s debut album revels in eccentric details while adhering to traditional pop structures.

Like so many electronic artists in the mid ’10s, New Zealand’s BAYNK (Jock Nowell-Usticke) got his start making chill, pop-adjacent songs that seemed primed for placement in mood-based playlists. His early attempts at surf-bro EDM sounded like what Kygo and LeMarquis were putting out on SoundCloud at the time; he used his voice sparingly, mainly as material to be sampled. In the years since, though, he has refined his palette. On 2017’s Someone’s EP I and 2019’s Someone’s EP II, his percussion took on the rhythmic impulse of Four Tet, and his rubbery basslines and glossy experimentalism were reminiscent of early Cashmere Cat and Flume. Using his Auto-Tuned falsetto to further texturize his songs, BAYNK’s fusion of house, R&B, and pop soon set him apart from the many similar acts scattered throughout the scene.

Adolescence is BAYNK’s most meticulous work to date. It revels in eccentric, distinctive details while adhering to traditional pop structures. Most arrangements consist of grainy synth loops, plucky subs, and house-inspired drums; his digital sounds are drenched in reverb and slapped with sidechain. On the Cosmo’s Midnight-assisted “How Does it Feel?” languid synth pulses and a funky bassline give way to some of the sharpest vocal melodies on the album. “Remember,” which features Rainsford, exhibits BAYNK’s talent for peeling a heavily layered song back to its component parts before climaxing into an ecstatic yet graceful drop. This is dance music for headphones, club music for late-night walks.

The best songs on Adolescence bend toward straightforward pop formulas and, tellingly, include non-electronic instruments. “Mine” is led by quiet piano and spacey guitar, while standout “Naked” blends acoustic elements and electric bass with shimmering synths. BAYNK gives his best vocal performances here: “I feel your hand on my knee/It kinda feels like you're mine,” he nearly whispers on “Mine,” evoking the warm upper register of Whitney’s Julien Ehrlich. He’s not a great singer, as Tinashe makes plain when she steals the show on “Esther”; he scrubs clean his imperfections with layers of automation, delay, and reverb. Still, BAYNK has a keen ear for melody and knows his limits, wisely ceding the mic to guests while he works the boards.

The album is nominally a concept record about the immediacy of youth and romantic first experiences. “I went through this period of not being able to write anything,” BAYNK told Apple Music. Being in a “stable and happy relationship” wasn’t conducive to inspiration, so to get around his writer’s block, he returned to the creative cocoon of “first love.” Lyrically, the album is imagistic and vague, depicting half-baked scenes of lying in the sun, holding hands in a car, and walking through fields. The narrative never coalesces into anything meaningful, and its emotional pull wanes quickly. First love invigorates but rarely sustains; it’s BAYNK’s elastic and original production that propels the album forward, the pulse of the beat begging us to feel something beyond recognition.

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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.
BAYNK - Adolescence Music Album Reviews BAYNK - Adolescence Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, March 31, 2022 Rating: 5

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