Music For the Sole! Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory
Hold your horses musos! The annual race for album of the year may have just been blown wide open by a stellar new effort from Vince Staples.
'Big Fish Theory' is a switch up from Debut 'Summertime 06', taking on a frantic, Electronica / Dance tinged style further in line with Staple's previous effort the 'Prima donna' E.P. Album opener 'Crabs In A Bucket' kicks things off with an ambient, downtempo beat under Staples machine gun delivery. Frequent collaborator Kilo Kash kicks off one of many of her great features on the album, providing soft vocals to accompany Staples sometimes harsh flow.
Singles 'BagBak', 'Big Fish' and 'Rain Come Down' sit well in the album.Big Fish continues Staples ability to be commercially accessible for the mainstream, yet eclectic and sonically diverse to match his critically acclaimed peers in Kanye and Kendrick. Staples can go from a club banger in his afore mentioned single, to an unusual piano lead skitzy electronic number 'Alyssa's Theme' that meanders around dark subject matter, then bang, we're in to the standout album track 'Love Can Be...' A track that makes it physically impossible not to nod your head. It's at this moment you know Staples isn't just that kid occasionally featuring on Odd Future tracks, or just 'the indie kid's favourite rapper, as I've heard others describe him' He's truly an artist rich in musical ideas, able to bring at least a 16 bar to any beat.
It's at this point we have to give a shout out to the producers behind the record. Frequent collaborators and first time production ventures for some have combined to make a conhesive sound, yet eclectic in it's production. It trully is an all star cast of beat makers and creators. Frequent collaborator Zack Sekoff is all over the album, alongside Ray Brady. Guest production is handled Christian Rich, GTA, Jimmy Edgar, Sophie, Flume and non other than Justin Vernon of Bloody Bon Iver fame.
As we follow on the album, '745' 'Homage' , 'SAMO' and 'Party People' keep the bass rumbling and beats varied. Staples using a variety of vocal executions to shine over the stellar production. We're going to need to take a second just to acknowledge 'Yeah Right'.
Kendrick, of Kendrick "I'm the greatest rapper alive" Lamar theme, just popped up out of nowhere for a destructive 16 bars. He can't even be escaped now. He's on every album, remix, feature, just doing Kendrick Lamar things, absolutely killing it over any track. Talking about "Zeitgeists" and "Fried Rice". Just popping up to say hello and heading off elsewhere, looking for another track to feature on. God damn he can't be stopped. Anyway...
The album closes out on previously mentioned singles 'BagBak' and 'Rain Come Down', bringing an end to a trully exciting sonic journey. The 12 tracks weren't enough, we need more of this from Staples. We at Soleheaven physically cannot wait for more. Guess it's time to binge listen to Vince again, and again and again...