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Redveil - Learn 2 Swim Music Album Reviews

Redveil - Learn 2 Swim Music Album Reviews
The Maryland rapper’s latest album soars on a sense of melancholic triumph, ordaining a new star to watch in the process.

As a rapper-producer, redveil didn’t just hit the ground running—he jumped in the deep end of the pool with no life jacket. At 11 years old, the Maryland native began making beats on Fruity Loops after hearing the Internet and Tyler, the Creator’s “Palace/Curse” for the first time. Those beat-making sessions eventually led to piano lessons, which clashed with the gospel, funk, and old-school hip-hop his parents would play around the house. As his rap palette expanded, so did his musical voice. A sense of wide-eyed adventure cushions the anxiety of his early song flips and projects like 2019’s bittersweet cry. Drums and warped samples pop across expansive synth backdrops while redveil—very much a teenager—attempts to piece himself together in the maelstrom. That initial tinkerer’s spirit would become more refined on 2020’s Niagra, where his writing grew as meticulous and thoughtful as his beats. Niagra was the moment where his appreciation for artists like Tyler, Earl Sweatshirt, and Logic evolved past homage into a solid vision, familiar and fresh as a pair of retro Air Jordans.

To see a 16-year-old artist with such control and focus is impressive on its own. That Learn 2 Swim feels like a quantum leap in both quality and vision is remarkable. For starters, the stakes are much higher than before. redveil’s rapidly expanding fanbase—he has more than a million monthly Spotify listeners—stands in contrast to a world-weariness brought on by teenage ennui and a strong sense of family values. “Fuck the acclaim/I just want my people never touching the pain again,” he bellows on opener “together.” His wants are earnest without being naive, a genuine effort to push through a murky past on the way to a brighter future. Lyrically and musically, Learn 2 Swim soars on this sense of melancholic triumph, ordaining a new rap star to watch in the process.

redveil is a child of Earl Sweatshirt in the way he jams as much meaning as possible into the fewest words. But his writing is more playful and less cryptic, his syllable counts waxing and waning on a dime. Notice how he changes speeds throughout the winding verse of lead single “diving board” or his stagger-stepped cadence across the harrowing first verse of “mars.” Here, and on songs like “automatic,” his acuity for closing the gap between positive and negative memories is on full display: “Getting lessons and accepting them the only way you grow/Remember days I wanted to cock a Smith and Wesson, let it blow/And nonetheless so far I’m a testament of staying afloat.” These intimate thoughts are blown up to macro-scale often, the scars just as important to him as the victories they denote.

Newfound success has redveil reflecting on his upbringing in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and the choppy waters he weathered to end up here. Some of his friends, like the ones mentioned near the beginning of “pg baby,” are fellow grinders working to “never see another autumn.” Others, like the nameless person at the start of the second verse of “shoulder,” are brief vessels of regret that color memories of Motorola phone screens. These experiences enrich his personal stories, lessons from each of them pushing him further toward his goal.

That clarity is complemented by a lush suite of beats. Learn 2 Swim is entirely self-produced, and redveil’s production chops have expanded to match the occasion. Samples, synths, and piano are still his musical bread and butter, but the sense of scale to each of these beats is massive. Both “new info” and “morphine (da ways)” start with loops and steady drum programming before breaking open to reveal booming 808s in their last seconds, fleshing out the experience without overwhelming it. The love for melody and chord progressions he inherited from Tyler manifests in gossamer piano keys that dot nearly every song. Those chords are the lifeblood of tracks like “diving board” and “better,” descending like a sunshower against a pink horizon line at dusk.

It’s even more impressive when he combines these sounds, like the piano keys simmering below sampled cymbals on “better” or the latticework of synths, drums, and vocal samples that make up the second half of “automatic.” redveil seamlessly weaves different types of rap production together, channeling the orchestral pomp of live-band hip-hop, the gooey sample loops of the modern underground, and the synthetic flair of the mainstream into something fresh. By challenging perceptions of what rap can be, he’s created audio dioramas that blend and melt into each other in stunning fashion.

The duality of redveil’s production style dovetails with the redemptions and new beginnings at the heart of his stories across Learn 2 Swim. If you listen closely, you can hear the same sincerity that informed the music of his early influences. But redveil is no copycat. He has Tyler and Earl’s respective confidence in Black self-expression without the hard personality and musical edges that defined their early work; he shares Logic’s passion for the craft and history of rap minus the try-hard True Schoolisms that sap energy from his persona. Learn 2 Swim is luminous and forward-thinking, using the embers of redveil’s personal and musical past to fuel his trip to greater heights.

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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.
Redveil - Learn 2 Swim Music Album Reviews Redveil - Learn 2 Swim Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, April 28, 2022 Rating: 5

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