Producer du jour makes a statement...
'AQUΛRIA'

Given that he seemingly came out of nowhere to produce a decent portion of Beyoncé's self-titled record, and followed that up by lending his talents to 'Run The Jewels 2' and FKA twigs' 'M3LL155X EP', expectations are high for BOOTS' debut record proper.

What he delivers doesn't disappoint, and it's a tantalising glimpse into where R&B might be heading in 2016. Whilst acts such as The Weeknd have smoothed their edges as they've made their way into the mainstream, BOOTS' music is unapologetically abrasive, meaning that any slow jams take on an unsettling and vaguely threatening tone. This is all fronted by a velvety croon which often flits to a clear falsetto, and amongst the half-sung, half-muttered incantations, there are melodies that any pop star would be falling over themselves to get a hold of.

Lyrically, we're on the popular modern-day footing of ill-advised, drug-fuelled sex, and the post-orgasmic regret that follows. It's to BOOTS' credit that he can go from the seedy, almost-industrial clatter of Brooklyn Gamma to the reverb-heavy balladry of Only, and seem equally at home with both.

He's likely to be in demand for the foreseeable future, so it'll be interesting to see if he still finds time to record his own music as an outlet. For our sakes, let's hope he does.

8/10

Words: Joe Rivers

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