- 19 Feb 20
Underwhelming effort from R&B wunderkind
Alex Crossan, the man behind Mura Masa, may be only 23 – but he wants us to know he’s an old soul. The producer/vocalist/songwriter has achieved much in his short career thus far, most notably a Grammy win and a debut album that nearly broke Spotify with its breakout hit ‘Love$ick’. So, with the promise comes the hype. While his self-titled 2017 debut was fresh and assured, his sophomore offering R.Y.C (Raw Youth Collage) is spoiled and disjointed. Crossan has made no secret that nostalgia is the muse for R.Y.C, and while the Boomers amongst us may argue he’s much too young to be looking back,it’s not the theme of the album that’s the problem, it’s the music. And the lyrics. There are guitars. Or at least guitar sounds. An homage to the Bloc Party of his, er, youth, perhaps, but the kicker is Crossan created the guitar sounds with synthesizers: a kind of musical tofu that just about sums up this album.
The good moments – moment, rather – comes in the guise of of Northampton punk-rapper Slowthai’s cameo on ‘Deal Wiv It’, which is a decent enough track to belong on a different album. However, it only distracts momentarily from the weakness of tunes like ‘Vicarious Living Anthem’, one of many bad songs made worse by Crossan’s vocals. Broken clocks at least tell the right time twice a day – I don’t mean to be cruel, but R.Y.C doesn’t even do that. If Mura Masa should be nostalgic for anything, let it be the talent that inspired his debut record. Amnesia should be the idea for his next record. Chalk this one down to chronic sophomore syndrome.