Album Review: East Atlanta Love Letter

With minimalist beats and soothing vocals 6lack lets his emotions flow on his sophomore album, East Atlanta Love Letter, as he discusses various conditions of love. The Atlanta artist lays out a roadmap to his deepest thoughts as he reflects on relationships, personal struggles, where he’s been, and where he’s going in the future as he juggles being an artist and a father. The artist otherwise known as Ricardo Valentine, sets precedent with the album’s opening lyrics “Hope my mistakes don’t make me less of a man, but lately it feel like them shits really can” on “Unfair.” The theme of love lost and relationship struggles reemerges in “Let Her Go” and “Sorry.” The seamless transitions keep the listener from losing interest. The sonically cohesive project is further enriched by spoken-word interludes by Jaycina Almond, Light Skin Keisha, and Tierra Whack as well as features from Future, J.Cole, Offset, and Khalid with verses that compliment his own style. Album highlights include “Pretty Little Fears,””Nonchalant,” “Seasons,” and “Stan.” J.Cole’s lyricism and 6lacks voice merge perfectly on “Pretty Little Fears” as they juxtapose perspectives of love jumping from 6lack’s failed relationship to Cole’s love poem. 6lack speeds it up as he raps on “Nonchalant” flexing his lyrical skills. Later in the album the mood is lifted in “Seasons” as 6lack partners with Khalid reflecting on a cold winter and heading towards the summer, “The old me is on his last stretch, I guess a new season is next.” The album ends with slow jam “Stan” a unique love ballad where 6lack references the love fans have for their favorite artist to the love he feels for his girl. Through anything 6lack has a undying love for her stating that life without his love “is a slant rhyme, that mean it works out but it ain’t quite what it's ‘posed to be.” The growth in both 6lack’s musicality and personal life is evident in East Atlanta Love Letter. His focus on quality music rather than flooding the market is lost with many artist these days. The album is a much earned 5/5 and will easily land itself as one of the best albums to release this year.

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