Reviews

Brent Faiyaz “Larger Than Life” Album Review

Larger Than Life

Brent Faiyaz

  • Genre: R&B/Soul
  • Date: 27 Oct, 2023
  • Content: explicit
  • Region: NGA
  • Track(s): 14
  • ℗ 2023 ISO Supremacy under exclusive license to UnitedMasters LLC

Brent Faiyaz &Quot;Larger Than Life&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, May 29, 2024

American R&B artist Brent Faiyaz’s debut mixtape, Larger Than Life, is an album that highlights his abilities as a performer and lyricist. One of Faiyaz’s greatest assets is his voice, which is a powerful instrument that can move with ease between passionate narrative, emotional moments, and soft crooning. His ability to embrace his inner playa, take on a gangsta character, or serenade with romantic overtones all demonstrate his flexibility as an artist, all while keeping his audience captivated with his steady vocals. The lyrical content exhibits Faiyaz’s ability to move between storytelling and adding complexity to his persona as an artist, striking a unique balance between numerous themes like relationships, love, and heartbreak. October 27, 2023, saw the album’s surprise release through UnitedMasters and an independent release through Faiyaz’s label, ISO Supremacy.

Guest performers on the mixtape include A$AP Ant, A$AP Rocky, Babyface Ray, Coco Jones, Cruddy Murda, FELIX!, FLEE, Lil Gray, Missy Elliott, N3WYRKLA, Princess Cro, Tommy Richman, and TTM Dawg. Alongside Mannyvelli and Sparkheem, who each created multiple tracks for the album, Dpat produced most of it. The two singles “Moment of Your Life” and “WY@,” featuring Coco Jones, came before Larger than Life. Its evocation of classic R&B with ominous undertones reminiscent of Timbaland’s influence is one noteworthy feature. The production of the album has a solid nod to the traditional R&B feel, complete with lush instrumentals and grooves that transport listeners to the heyday of the genre. However, Faiyaz expertly adapts this standard framework for a contemporary audience, giving the album a new and current vibe.

Album Art

Brent Faiyaz &Quot;Larger Than Life&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, May 29, 2024

The album cover depicts a scene of chaos and destruction as a giant foot walks through the city, causing traffic jams and panic among the people. The sky is red, adding to the ominous atmosphere, while the foot itself is adorned with a sneaker that has “NUWO” written on the sole.

Tracks And Features

The opener to the Larger Than Life album, which is famous for its Virginia Beach connection, has a distinct sound that resembles a recording from an answering machine. The recognizable sample of TLC’s “No Scrubs” plays in the background while Faiyaz’s unique voice takes centre stage as the song starts. Although the sample seems to be from Timbaland, it’s not. Faiyaz’s self-assured and flirtatious delivery makes the song exceptional. “Last One Left,” the following song, is another Timbaland cover of Missy Elliott’s “Crazy Feelings.” Missy, a fellow Virginian, re-records the hook, and Faiyaz contributes a somewhat lacklustre verse in which he advises some girls not to seek relationship advice from their friends. However, his charming voice adds a lovely quality to the song that suggests he doesn’t feel too guilty.

The tune concludes with a radio-friendly guest appearance by Lil Gray, a rising rapper from Maryland reminiscent of Fat Joe or Fabolous’ early 2000s work. Faiyaz sounds the most alive on “WY@,” where he presents his idea of accountability when the stakes are low. Or maybe he’s just delivering some player rhymes on A$AP Ant’s track “On This Side” alongside D.C. rapper CruddyMurda, who makes the most of his time in the spotlight. Regardless, he raises a lot of thought-provoking questions. Faiyaz sings about stories that most people would consider the peak of their year, but he makes it seem like another day.

Faiyaz’s “Best Time,” featuring the Neptunes, feels unimpressive compared to his other works. The first four tracks are drenched in nostalgia and could easily be mistaken for Timbaland or the Neptunes. It’s a shame he doesn’t rely more on his original local producers like Tommy Richman and Mannyvelli, who produced tracks like “Upset” and “Moment of Your Life” (with Dpat and Sparkheem). These tracks are carefree and weightless and prove that Faiyaz doesn’t need to collaborate with too many producers to create such impressive music.

Coco Jones’s conventional singing style overpowers Faiyaz’s delicate and soft voice in “Moment of Your Life”. They lack the vocal connection to make their performance successful, even though fans may still enjoy their delivery. Faiyaz usually maintains a consistent mood in his music, which helps him avoid verbal constraints. However, he struggles to sound romantic or captivated, and his strain on such tracks is apparent. Despite the great flourish of falsetto just before the chorus in “Wherever I Go,” he falls short of conveying the pain in the lyrics. While it may seem pointless to criticize his vocal range, other artists with rap influences have done it in the past, and it’s important to acknowledge the shortcomings.

Tracklist

NO

TITLE

ARTIST

TIME

1 Tim’s Intro Brent Faiyaz 2:04
2 Last One Left (feat. Missy Elliott & Lil Gray) Brent Faiyaz 3:44
3 Forever Yours Brent Faiyaz 1:36
4 Best Time Brent Faiyaz 1:22
5 Big Mad Skit (feat. Princess Cro & Flee) Brent Faiyaz 1:18
6 Moment of Your Life (feat. Coco Jones) Brent Faiyaz 3:14
7 Outside All Night Brent Faiyaz, A$AP Rocky & N3WYRKLA 3:22
8 Wherever I Go Brent Faiyaz 3:01
9 Upset Brent Faiyaz, Tommy Richman & FELIX! 2:57
10 On This Side (feat. A$AP ANT & CruddyMurda) Brent Faiyaz 2:58
11 Dawged Em Skit (feat. TTM Dawg) Brent Faiyaz 1:04
12 Belong to You (feat. Babyface Ray) Brent Faiyaz 2:57
13 WY@ Brent Faiyaz 3:27
14 Pistachios Brent Faiyaz 3:09

Album Summary

Brent Faiyaz’s album “Larger Than Life” is an engaging R&B record that skillfully combines classic R&B sounds with a modern flavour. Even though Larger Than Life is excellent in many ways, the album’s guest appearances are a letdown. Other than Coco Jones, who gives an incredible performance that fits in perfectly with Faiyaz’s approach, the other guest features aren’t as good as the album.

This project, featuring a generous amount of soulful vocals and the diverse lyricism of Faiyaz, makes a standout in a cluttered musical landscape, even though some of his tracks on the album have seen better predecessors. Even if some of the guest appearances on the album may not have been as successful as others, its dedication to classic melodies and Timbaland-inspired production make it a valuable addition to Faiyaz’s catalogue. For fans of R&B looking for a touch of originality mixed with nostalgia, Larger Than Life is a good listen and a monument to Faiyaz’s talent.

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