Vulnerable and self-reflexive, this is a portrait of a multifaceted artist...

Following the release of two standout EPs, Lucky Daye consolidates his arrival with the release of debut album ‘Painted’, giving audiences a full view of his canvas.

From the project’s inception, Daye begins painting his story and articulating his universe to the masses. Opener ‘Roll Some Mo’ sets a calm foundation over which Daye’s vocals can shine. Over a guitar and drum-led soundscape, he navigates a tale of enchantment: “Can’t let no time go wasted / This moment can’t replace it.” He’s in a trance, his own fairy tale.  

A flawless funk influence lingers across album cuts such as ‘Late’ and ‘Extra’. The singer grooves through his set like a pro and proves that learning from older genres can in fact still engage audiences of today – ‘Real Games’ is a great example of this, with its echoes of Boyz II Men.

Powerful, multi-faceted productions seem to fuel the Southern-soloist – it’s where he shines the most and harnesses his true potential. ‘Try Your Fire’, for example, is backed by soul-singers and layered electric guitars, while Daye experiments with both his tone and pitch.

Elsewhere there are parallels drawn with more conventional R&B. Crisp falsetto and violin runs transport listeners back a decade and a half on ‘Concentrate’, seeming to reference the iconic ‘Confessions’ album by Usher, while ‘Karma’ and its reimagining of Ginuwine’s classic single ‘Pony’ is executed seamlessly. Daye almost softens the intentions of the original, locating it in the Millennial universe of “Netflix and chill.”

Overall, ‘Painted’ is a vulnerable and self-reflexive project in its portrayal, Daye a renegade spirit with his heart on his sleeve. Even after contemplating being closed up on ‘Misunderstood’, the artist is committed to being transparent and thorough in his dissemination of feelings. Faced with his own self-reflection, there’s a sense of comfort found as we go deeper into the LP and once complete, it’s hard to not to explore our own wants and desires.

Lucky Daye is a lover-boy at heart, and ‘Painted’ invites us on this journey. In a genre that often finds the men of the 21st century running away from love and emotions, this project embraces both themes; with clear falsetto-runs guiding the way. This album is crying out to be heard and by track 13, it’s clear that Keep Cool Records have found their multi-talented heartthrob.  

7/10

Words: Nicolas-Tyrell

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