After delivering his incredibly well-received self-titled debut album in 2017, Mura Masa aka Alex Crossan quickly found himself as the golden boy of modern pop production. Inviting an array of diverse guest acts to complete his initial release, the record was a broad and eclectic collection of RnB-infused pop masterpieces that cemented him as one of the most proficient and dynamic new artists of today. And after three years to figure out his next move, he now returns with 'R.Y.C.' or 'Raw Youth Collage', an LP that almost completely separates himself from his beginnings in search of something fresher and more exciting.
In the build up to this new release, Crossan made numerous comments to his love for punk and rock music, and it seems that this is what he focused his sophomore record on. Stripping the crispy and clean beats of his debut in exchange for brasher and more organic intentions, 'R.Y.C.' is less of a pop album and more in line with the abstract avenues that indie has found itself in the last few years. While there are still plenty of moments that see him pay homage to his earlier work, such as the Clairo collaboration 'I Don't Think I Can Do This Again', much of this new material is far rougher and more high-energy than we have heard before.
Despite his best intentions though, 'R.Y.C.' just doesn't have the same punch as his earlier work. While singles like 'Deal Wiv It' and 'Live Like We're Dancing' do their best to bring the album out of a mediocre swamp, there is just too much on here that fails to reflect the life and spark we know he is capable of.