Album Review: TYRON by slowthai

Tyron Frampton, or better known as slowthai, is a British rapper from England. He first started to get some attention with his features with other artists and his mixtapes. Eventually, slowthai released his debut album back in 2019. Now, nearly two years later, he returns for his sophomore release titled TYRON.

The first track from the first half is 45 SMOKE. The beat opens up with some distorted and bell-like instruments. Besides that, the beat is a bit underwhelming to start the track off. However, the beat changes about halfway through to something more desirable and laid back. The second half beat definitely has some A$AP Rocky vibes from his TESTING album. Other than that, it’s a short track to start off the album and slowthai basically said this track is like a wake up call for him.

CANCELLED was one of the more recent singles from the album. This was another track that made me excited for the album, especially since Skepta just kills his parts of the track. Besides Skepta’s featured parts, this is a bass heavy track with the booming bass parts, especially when slowthai comes in for his verse. The title of the track has to do with cancel culture and the toxicity that can surround it, especially since slowthai is trying to escape the place he was at recently.

MAZZA was the first single that got me excited for this slowthai album. While I didn’t really care for the other singles before this track, this is the one that brought me in for the album. This is definitely one of the hottest bangers on the album, especially since he was able to recruit A$AP Rocky for this track. The track features some electronic beat in the background, as well as a great backing bass. The track references the British slang term, ‘mazzalean’.

VEX is another banger of a track on the album. The beat is a bit repetitive though since you have the high pitched running notes in the background. The chorus also features slowthai’s voice a bit muffled which makes it seem like the production went down quite a bit. Anyways, this track has a heavy connection with social media and how people try to only show the positives. They try to put up a persona that actually isn’t real.

The previous track smoothly runs into WOT. However, this is a pretty short track which is kind of disappointing since slowthai just keeps on killing it with his rapping. It’s also the only track on the album that is under a minute in length. This track was initially made when he first met Pop Smoke, but unfortunately he had passed away that same day. He also mentioned that he didn’t want it to be longer, so I guess he’s going against my logic.

DEAD is surprisingly the longest track on the first half of the album, especially since it’s only three minutes in length. Judging by the beat, it kind of sounds like it would have some $uicideboy$ influence or some other horrorcore groups. slowthai starts to talk about how he’s trying to grow out of certain things and better himself. That can also relate to the money aspects of things when it comes to a music career, and that the money really doesn’t mean much to him.

PLAY WITH FIRE starts with a low bass filled track, with the same words as the title, ‘play with fire’. Once the introduction is cut out, you have a muffled synth that seems to carry the beat of the track. He also seems to change up his rapping style quite a bit on this track. Honestly, with what’s to come on the second half of the album, this feels like the perfect transition point to the next half of the album, which I was pleasantly surprised by.

The second half of the album opens up with i tried and the vocals ‘I tried to die’. This definitely starts off with a darker tone than some of the previous tracks, but the beat sounds a bit more open, especially with some of the bright horn instrumentals. While slowthai tells us he was in a dark place, and still is at times, he’s growing and trying to better himself every day. While he’s not there yet, he’s a better version of himself than yesterday.

focus opens up with a minimalist beat as well as some weird things thrown in there. While it’s mostly a piano coming in, you have some inaudible low and high vocals used with the beat. Not really my style, but it does change it up and uses something we haven’t heard yet. The title, focus, is talking about focusing on some other things rather than the bad. While some people get into bad cycles, he wants to focus on some other things so he doesn’t sink back to old habits.

terms features two interesting artists, Dominic Fike as well as Denzel Curry. While I could care less about Dominic Fike, the Denzel Curry had me excited, even if he doesn’t really have the same style as either of the other artists. It is a bit toned back so I’m surprised Denzel Curry was able to work on this track, but they altered his voice to smooth it out. Also, Dominic Fike’s chorus is actually pretty solid on this track.

push opens up with a quiet acoustic guitar with Deb Never’s soothing vocal part. I actually wasn’t expecting to like this, but with the beat slowly adding with instrumentation, it works out for slowthai and Deb Never. According to slowthai, ‘push’ is an acronym that stands for, ‘praying until something happens’. slowthai again talks about some of the low points in his life, but even at the low times, you need to keep pushing yourself to go further.

nhs was one of the first promotional tracks for the album, but I honestly didn’t care for the first two singles for the album. The beginning section where he morphs his vocals give me some BROCKHAMPTON vibes, so I’m sure there’s some influence from them. Just like the title suggests, this track is talking about the National Health Service. He talks about how we need to appreciate them for everything they’ve done for us during the pandemic.

As much as I love Mount Kimbie and James Blake, I’m kind of surprised to see the collaboration between these artists on feel away. This was also another single for the album, but I didn’t really care for it when it came out. The instrumentation is amazing with the reverbed and washed out synth notes at the beginning. James Blake section on this track is a bit strange and his voice doesn’t mesh well with the beat in my opinion. Other than that, slowthai has revealed that this track is dedicated to his brother that passed away when he was younger.

The final track on the album is adhd. It’s a strange beat, but I’m still trying to figure out what to think about it. It seems like some string notes that are chopped up and glued back together. slowthai does it all on this track, rapping as well as singing during the chorus. His rapping is also a bit more calm and toned back on the first half of the track. However, after the phone call interlude, slowthai comes back and just lets loose to end the album.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Favorite Tracks: CANCELLED, MAZZA, i tried, terms, push, adhd

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