Brent Faiyaz seems to be in a “Fuck the World” type of energy when it comes to seeking clarity from the many unanswered questions that he is asking on his new album. Faiyaz, who has a sweet, tangy bravado to his voice, proves on this new full-length album that he is also able to master a sense of untapped frustration and longing through exploring sonic sensations of gloominess.
Both of the two singles that dropped before the release of the album, “Fuck the World” and “Rehab ( Winter in Paris),” seem to show Faiyaz engulfed in a world of the darker things in life. His need to be impulsive and careless in relation to the order of the world is expressed through the drastic pitch transitions from extreme high notes to the lowest of lows.
The distortion of his voice comes across as both effortless and rapid. This seems to mimic Faiyaz’s lack of ability to maintain emotional balance amongst his desire for overindulgence in drugs and sex. The beats sonically seem to represent this divergent nature of light vs. darkness as well – some of the tracks being incredibly soulful and dreamy, while others remain more eerie and foggy.
On the track “Rehab (Winter in Paris),” the bassline has a suspenseful, thrilling quality to it and is accompanied by periodic snaps. This sense of thrill and wonder that is mastered sonically, illuminates Faiyaz’s obsessive tendencies towards troubled woman.
He sings, “You like to put that shit in your nose, but I still love you. Lately, I’ve been thinking bout us. You as real as they come, but you would rather be on them drugs. I can’t leave you alone.”
Faiyaz here is lamenting and pondering his own addiction in relation to his lover’s addiction. The woman he is enamored by is more consumed with drugs than she is by his presence. Faiyaz ultimately reveals, multiple times throughout the course of the album, that he is addicted to sex and toxic relationships.
As Faiyaz continues to go even deeper into murky terrain, he becomes more and more resistant to unearthing the answers regarding his lack of security in his life. Faiyaz is learning to find wonder in the uncertainty of the turbulent lifestyle that he inhabits and has simultaneously given up hope that he will ever reach complete transparency. Thus, his lack of being able to retrieve the confirmation that he needs leads him into a “Fuck the World” disposition.
During “Bluffin,” Faiyaz maintains that tone of fleeting impatience that he has towards the mind games he is forced to endure in his romantic relationships. He sings, “Either your bluffin, or you just don’t care. Either there’s somethin’ or there’s nothing there.”
In this song, Faiyaz exposes a level of vulnerability and insecurity that he feels with the lack of reveal of true feelings through his raw, stripped-down vocals. Half of the tracks on “Fuck the World” linger in the shadows of deception.
Sonically, Faiyaz achieves this through eliciting haunting piano keys, sinisterly deep vocals, and ominous beats. However, the light that Faiyaz illuminates through the tracks “Clouded,” and “Let me Know” juxtaposes that darkness and transforms into a profound sense of hope for the future.
Both “Clouded” and “Let Me Know” have a nostalgic R&B vibe to it, with Faiyaz embracing his high-pitched vocals and heavenly rifts. These tracks reveal Faiyaz’s internal battles with self-love and his inability to remain grounded. Although Faiyaz touches on low points in his life within these tracks; his dedication towards change is profound. On “Let me Know,” Faiyaz sings, “Who can I love when they tell me I can’t love myself? How in the hell could I possibly love someone else?”
With this album only being 26 minutes in length, Faiyaz is still somehow able to achieve a sense of closure – a complete story arch in which the presence of light and darkness is equally expressed and justified.
Faiyaz drops us into a world immersed in druggy, rainy days – then immediately seems to move the clouds himself, allowing for the sun to peek through just enough for glimmers of better days to come. This “Fuck the World” mentality that Faiyaz has surrendered to seems to be fading out – underneath the surface and within these ten tracks, it’s evident his desire to care is here to stay.