Album Review: Brent Faiyaz Formally Introduces Himself to the World with Debut Album “Sonder Son”
On October 13th, Brent Faiyaz one-third of the internet formed production-artist trio Sonder, released his solo debut project, Sonder Son. For many, their initial encounter with Faiyaz was during the December release of rapper Goldlink’s “Crew”, or Sonder’s EP Into, which was released early this year in February.
Sonder Son is the personal thoughts, journeys and introspective thoughts of Brent thus far. Songs like “Home” and “Gang Over Luv” are the backstory of Brent’s younger life, where music, the chasing of girls and hanging out with friends were far more important than good grades and homework. As the album progresses we are taken along for the cross-country trip from Baltimore, Maryland to Los Angeles, California in the pursuit of Brent’s quest to make it as a self-sufficient artist. However, instead of open arms, he’s met with a rude awakening and rather dwindling monetary funds. “First World Problemz/ Nobody Carez” is an honest observation of Brent’s new home, there’s certainly more that meets the eye in Los Angeles. While new buildings and homes are being built every day, there are also massive amounts of people in need of help. Midway through the song, a brief intermission occurs and then a transition into the second half, a proclamation of the fakeness and selfishness of others during daily encounters. The track “Missing Out” is self-affirmation for Brent that it’s only a matter of time before he blows up and makes it big. Sprinkled along the way, are encounters with a potential love interest and the excitement of unchartered waters in “Talk 2 U” and “Stay Down.”
Sonically, production steers away from bold and larger than life sounds. Opting for a more minimalistic, simplistic approach instead. The silky smooth R&B sounds of the 90s hold a large piece of influence within this body of work but also more contemporary sounds reminiscent of Frank Ocean’s Nostalgia Ultra can be found in “L.A.” The use of acoustic and brass instruments calls for more intimate and vulnerable feel. Vocally, Brent doesn’t stray too far from his signature soft sound, so it leaves us wondering if that’s all he can deliver vocally. But then there are fleeting moments of superb harmonies, smooth runs or a swoon-worthy falsetto that leaves us satisfied. Overall, it’s a solid body of work. A nice formal introduction into who Brent Faiyaz is and what he can deliver. You can tell that he feels as if he hasn’t quite made it yet, there’s more work to do and he’s down for the ride, no matter how long it takes.
Stand Out Tracks: “Talk 2 U” “Stay Down” “L.A”