[@A2Artist] decides to ‘Reveal Exact Details’ with his latest SoundCloud offering RED

The biggest troll in music since Frank Ocean has done it again!

For those who are fans of A2 you know he has been teasing us with his BLUE (Before Love Undoes Everything) project for literal years now. RED is probably the culmination and the best bit of trolling he has done. He has plagued us fans with teasers, the first two coming in the form of Story Teller and Buena Vida 4. If you downloaded those from his SoundCloud they would both come under the album BLUE and had accompanying cover art. They were dropped in 2014 and 2013 respectively.
In late 2015 A2 drops two more songs, Winter Winner and Pluto Interlude  with a new cover for BLUE. Then shortly after in 2016 starts promoting new music which suggests BLUE is coming. Wrong! This time he drops More Sleep 2 EP. Now well into 2017 A2 continues releasing music and speaking about just adding the finishing tweaks to BLUE and announces a special event. This event was the expedition of BLUE.
So me being naïve I believe this means that BLUE is coming soon. Can you guess what happens next? He releases RED.
A2 steadily released the songs that are on RED prior to the release. The only exception to this being Promise aka Fee Fee flow. Now if he released these tracks prior you might wonder how I still expected BLUE. Valid question to which there is no answer other than I ignored some hints such as
I keep them waiting…RED
and was just generally extremely hopeful on finally getting to hear BLUE.
Now with an A2 listening party for BLUE looming (tomorrow) it’s a good time to look at the prequel to what will be his debut album on the Disturbing London imprint. As a project RED sounds very complete. A2’s projects have tended to jump from sound to sound on a track to track basis, making them appear eclectic in early listens. It usually takes a while for the project to sink in and gain the cohesion you’d expect from a project. But RED, as with the project before, breaks this mould, sticking primarily to one stylistic sound. As such, RED is a very easily digestible project – this however isn’t to say that it isn’t complex.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the tracks:

Outer Limits (Featuring Serine Karthage) – 8/10

Track 1 and we have a very relaxed start. The first voice we’re greeted by is that of Serine Karthage. This may seem small but for A2 it is huge. A2 is one of the few artists who tends to rely on their own merits for the bulk of their work. Features on A2 tracks are far and few between but each one is used to great effect. Karthage delivers a strong vocal performance and it adds a different dynamic to the track, trying to imagine it without her just doesn’t quite work. A2 delivers strong rap verses and occasional backing vocals to Karthage but also sprinkles the track with short bursts of his solo vocal ability. It’s a typical track for A2 in terms of content littered with braggings as to why he’s the best, as well as touching on a relationship with a woman. This is a track that gives a good kick back and chill vibe.

Drugs In The Bathroom – 9/10

A return to the usual formula of the solo A2 on the track which continues throughout the rest of the project. We’re gifted with an instrumental that conjures up daze like vibes – aptly so considering the song title. The song progresses in this daze like manner with A2 delivering his unique spin on the singing and rapping blend that’s become so common. This is a track that has grown on me over time having initially been one of the songs I found to be weakest. In fact I didn’t like the song at all at first. But time and constant listens has raised it’s standing for me making it one of the best tracks on the project.

 

Tell Me Freestyle – 9.5/10

The tempo gets increased here and here is the track that is still the standout to me. Having spoken to a few other’s about the track, it shouldn’t work. The instrumental is so strong it seems like it should overpower the vocals. But somehow A2 manages to keep the power of the production without being swallowed by it. On top of this A2 delivers the best display of rapping on the project on this song. It covers everything you would want him to cover in a track. He’s a man of few interviews and appearances so it’s only through the music that we get to know A2, and this felt like a very key insight into his psyche. I think here is also a good place to point out that A2 produces for himself, a testament to his multi-faceted abilities.

Versace Blue Jeans 2 – 5/10

 For me this was the low point of the project. The reason being this is a sequel track. A2 has done a number of sequel tracks most notably the BUENA VIDA series. As such there was a precedent that he’d improve on the original as he had done time and time before. But personally this one fell short of that mark, Versace Blue Jeans was a much better track in my opinion. Maybe it’s the comparison which tarnishes the track for me but it is an unavoidable comparison. It also doesn’t help that the tempo gets brought back down on Versace Blue Jeans 2 making it feel like a step back in terms of the project progressing towards its focal point.

Trade Places – 8/10

Luckily after that lower point we pick back up with Trade Places. Tempo is brought way up again and we are gifted with more outstanding rapping from A2. This is actually a slight departure from how A2‘s projects have usually run, typically relying on more sing-rapping than out and out rapping but it’s a welcome change. It shows just how diverse A2 can be and that he seemingly has no weaknesses.

Promise aka Fee Fee flow – 8.5/10

The closing chapter and it is a very uplifting one. It is a complete change in tone to the rest of the project, Where the other tracks are dark and ominous this seems like the light at the end of the tunnel. The vibe that comes across is definitely one of celebration. Here on the only brand new track he announces that he has to “fulfill the promise, BLUE on the way like a comet”. The ‘Fee Fee’ of the tracks title refers to friend and fellow rapper Fee Gonzales who is equally unique and talented. What we get on this last track is a strong performance alongside the promise.

 

See Also

Check out the project above for yourself.

 

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