Steve Lacy - 'Apollo XXI'

7/10

For the last few years, it has seemed more than likely that Steve Lacy would be releasing a solo album at some point. Aside from his work as the guitarist in funk/hip-hop band The Internet, the musician has recently been producing works for the likes of J Cole and Solange, as well as collaborating with Vampire Weekend for a number of tracks on their latest full-length 'Father Of The Bride', all pointing to the artist looking to make a name for himself as a solo act. And after a quick burst of new singles last week, the guitarist now delivers his first solo record 'Apollo XXI', a release that couples his unique playing style with bold and dynamic production.

Not too dissimilar to the recent Tyler, The Creator,, Lacy has chosen to focus himself more towards the RnB-laden approach to the hip-hop sound, channeling the view of other major artists like Anderson .Paak in his direction. With his smooth and sultry guitar playing only one piece of this expansive tapestry, he is looking to showcase more of the other quivers in his bow, most notably vocals and production. And while his singing is competent enough, his work on creating a fresh and atmospheric backdrop to this record is far beyond what we could have hoped for, as he blends and morphs the record through this warped and laid-back aesthetic.

With strong influences of Stevie Wonder and George Clinton running throughout this new collection, 'Apollo XXI' gives a uplifting and confident introduction to a man that has clearly been thinking about his solo work for a long time now. With many years in the making, this new album shows us the age and wisdom of its frontman in the most glorious, era-spanning way.

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