blackbear: Cybersex Album Review | Fork

The singer, songwriter and producer known as Blackbear is dedicated to brands; this is one of the many ways it is outdated. Songs from his new album cybersex, published of course on Cyber ​​Monday (its 27th anniversary) bristling with product mentions. There are spots for Gucci, Timberland and, potential Blackbear favorite, Wilhelmina Models, which he boasts in “Thursday / Froze Over (” Interlude “)” to share fleshly with. G-Eazy (Another example of the artist’s inherent conservatism is his unrepentant and unwavering misogyny.) interviews, even those led by telephone, come up with a monotonous, Patrick Bateman-esque recitation of what he wore as he chatted how little he cared about music. You imagine his publicist sending several emails to reporters: “Remember, you said you would include he had on a … yeah … yeah, it spells RAF …”

cybersex is blackbear’s fourth full album, but it’s the first he’s released since signing what he praised like a $ 10 million deal with Interscope and the project has all the bells and whistles of the industry catching up with a truly new sound. His talents are for melody, mimicry and self-promotion and he presented himself as a polite response to what critics have called Soundcloud rap. cybersex scans like a big label affair, with an inflated tracklist of 14 songs and 51 minutes, shiny Rap & B hooks chaotically scattered like glitter on hotel sheets. The disc contains a list of feature dreams for someone whose teenage years coincided with the death of blogroll-rap. The appearances, some energetic, others conscientious, are made by Cam’ron, Paul Wall, T-Pain, Rick Ross and Ne-Yo, among others.

Ne-Yo and the black bear have known each other for a third of the young man’s life, since he came out of music under the name Mat Musto (he was born Matthew Musto). Their meeting marked the beginning of the near decade that Blackbear has spent winding its way in and around the industry. His writing help on the 2012 Justin bieber The hit “Girlfriend” gave her insider credibility and her prolificity, social media presence and flair for fashion trends did the rest. His explosive popularity, sown by his 2015 record Dead roses and many appearances on Kylie Jenner’s snapchat, culminated this year with the tube of Gucci Mane “Do Re Mi” and a flurry of tabloid coverage Linking him to actress Bella Thorne.

As a public figure, Blackbear is so reprehensible in his self-pity, pettiness and forgetfulness – after Lil peepthe death of november he criticized the 21-year-old like a swashbuckler who glorified drugs – that it’s tempting to dismiss his music on the sole basis of the lyrics, which can’t help but reveal these qualities. But there are seeds of musical talent in evidence on cybersex, especially on a series of R&B songs that flaunt his melodic abilities. The first of these is “Playboy S ** t” but the best is the Ne-Yo feature, “Top Priority,” a sweetly sung and inevitably catchy R&B song that features the mentor in vintage A + form, while ‘he serenades his old flame, Mrs. Independent.

There are fewer rap songs and they are much weaker. On many, blackbear and his star guest (Rick Ross, Cam’ron) seem to expect the other to carry the weight and the results (“Glo_Up”, “Bright Pink Tims”) sound like a dresser falling into a stairs . Even on the strongest tracks, Blackbear’s lack of originality is almost bluffing. “Top Priority” shamelessly takes up the “ho to housewife” trope and the climax of “Gucci Linen”, outside of the 2 channels verse, is a hook that refers Nelly Furtadothe 2001 hit “I’m Like a Bird” and nellyThe 2002 hit “Hot in Herre”.

Then there are the lyrics and boy, are they awful. “Thursday / Froze Over” begins with a recitation of the most famous men who have had sex with the same women as Blackbear, who, along with the aforementioned G-Eazy, apparently include Bieber and Bruno Mars. In “I Hope Your Whole Life Sux”, women are compared to food items – “Instagram feels like the grocery store I pick and choose” – and on “Candayapple” it boasts of a companion who “She my accessory, you know I’m showing it off.

These feelings are a natural outgrowth of the vibrations expressed on Duck‘s Take care and in the weekendall the discography of. black bear seems to have studied both artists closely and, like the two Canadians, his melodic gifts would yield a handful of hits – “Down 4 U”, the T-Pain feature film on cybersex, could be a competitor. But unlike Drake or Abel Tesfaye, blackbear has little interest in perfecting his music, exploring new sounds, or becoming a pop star; he repeatedly told interviewers that he planned to quit over the next two years. “Music is a hobby for me,” he told Noisy. “I got stocks and bitcoins, I look up things and whatever, I dress girls for Coachella.” Its lack of investment helps explain why listen cybersex feels like he does. Initially seductive and often catchy, it reveals itself relatively quickly as a hollow record made by an emotional idiot, stuffed with brand names and old ideas, meaning nothing.

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