Source => pitchfork.com
The rapper/singer LYAM, born Liam Harris-Williams, obtained his begin by the advert hoc East London crew TTY, an elusive collective of artists who gained a profile for his or her nebulous rap-R&B music and infamous rooftop events. Younger Turks finally signed the group, and so they holed up in one of many label’s studios to write down and file an EP. Whereas they labored on this file, they concurrently requested for Miharashi jackets and a monogrammed Prada bag of their contract (as one does) and threw events within the studio with visitor DJs Sampha and RZA (additionally as one does). The ensuing Cry, But Go, launched final yr, got here laced with LYAM’s glowering rhymes over sparse, freeform beats drawing on grime and digital music. The EP acts as a prelude to the types LYAM adopts throughout his solo debut, N_O CALLER ID, on which he crafts a patchwork of grime, Motown soul, and different sounds that he grew up round to match his free-wheeling rhymes on ambitions and anxieties.
The album is suffused with an after-hours vibe—drinks, raves, and rushing vehicles populate his modern imaginative and prescient of London. Completely different voices flit out and in: clips of dialog shuffle between backbeats and visitor verses heighten the momentum. Some tracks from the Cry, However Go classes have been used for the album, like on the laid-back “Frith’s Place,” the place seesawing synths, a jittery beat, and vocals from R&B singer Lauren Aude kind an introspective backdrop for LYAM to replicate on an evening out marked by jealousy. Clutching a bottle of Hennessy “like a hand grenade,” his thoughts wanders to his personal darkish headspace: “I’m blind with open eyes these days,” he raps venomously. “Each time I shut ’em see my very own demise.”
Attempting to maintain up with LYAM as he unspools his overactive thoughts over hazy beats provides its personal potent buzz. On moody standout “Distress,” New York producer Sporting Life loops Rose Royce’s “Love Don’t Dwell Right here Anymore” right into a ghostly, menacing setting for LYAM’s rapid-fire supply: “Lemme go, lemme be, lemme breathe,” he gasps, phrases collapsing collectively, “Look within the mirror and I can’t see me.” When he dials into party-minded decadence, he maintains the madcap power: The boastful “Apollo” rides a glitchy backbeat minimize with sharp vocal samples as LYAM convincingly describes how he’ll steal your woman, whereas “Origami” has brash London rapper Shygirl delivering one in all her finest coolly shrugged-off verses to match LYAM’s extra languorous circulate.
The airier R&B songs on N_O CALLER ID don’t land with the identical affect. He leans into meandering melodies on “Prepared 2,” which floats on distorted, glassy synths and echoing background vocals. LYAM pinpoints evocative particulars—dropping his license to thrill a paramour, once more questioning how a lot he lives in his personal head—however the music barely shifts from its narcotized backdrop and cyclical refrain, resulting in stasis as a substitute of intrigue. “AWAI,” the clearest pop music on the album, depends on an identical crutch as LYAM treads water whereas making an attempt on an Auto-Tuned, Drake-ian voice. But the rapper appears snug in his personal lane, and largely pulls it off throughout N_O CALLER ID. He soundtracks the late-night psychological state after an evening out when all of the highs and lows blur collectively into one irresistible picture.
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— to pitchfork.com