When industry titans Beyoncé and Drake dipped their toes into dance music waters this past summer, they were met with mostly praise for experimenting within the genre. While they might have been the biggest names to dabble in dance, artists like DUCKWRTH have been flirting with the genre since the beginning of their careers. The singer/rapper goes beyond dabbling on his latest effort Chrome Bull, however, opting instead to dive in headfirst with grooves intended to make you move.
We had an inkling that DUCKWRTH was heading in this direction when he thrilled us with his singles "Power Power" and "Ce Soir" earlier in the year. But there's even more where that came from on Chrome Bull. The house influence is noticeable soon after the short intro, with "11:30" giving us woozy party vibes and the aforementioned "Ce Soir" cranks the party up to scandalously raunchy levels. Things really shift by the time the listener gets to "Sneaky," though as a tropical house groove punctuated by guest Juls' honey-coated vocals.
The party keeps going with the crunchy electronic clash of "Super Saiyan." Its steady beat and falling and rising hi-hats keep things interesting as DUCKWRTH dips into his bag of game to offer flirtatious lyrics. That leads to "Beg," which takes the artist further away from his hip-hop/R&B roots than we've ever heard. Yet the attempt works partly because guest Clay offers an earnest vocal amidst the skitter of hi-hats and pop-influenced chords that balances against the laid-back rap given by DUCKWRTH.
The eight-song set nears its close with the soulful, drum-and-bass-influence "Pray," which allows him to step outside of his playboy persona enough to deliver a heartfelt love song that hits all the right marks. The electro-thump of "Power Power" ties everything up in a bow with its aggressive industrial sound and flexing lyrics exuding the confidence of a man who knows that he just did the damn thing.
Chrome Bull might have missed the summer of dance music, but it's just in time to keep us on the floor well into the new year.
DUCKWRTH Chrome Bull [Amazon][Apple Music][TIDAL]