070 Shake: You Can't Kill Me
At times very much emulating (or imitating, which one you believe more) Frank Ocean's musical emotional breakdowns in Blond(e), 070 Shake's latest You Can't Kill Me is an interesting take on this genre of music—weirdly alternative, but mostly Gen-Z power pop much in the same vein of the power ballads of the early-mid '90s. Nothing wrong with it, but it's not anything profound. Simply interesting.
Much melancholy and heartache and "baby come back" but with a lot more synthesized string work and absolutely ethereal harmony work. 070 Shake isn't a vocalist, and his lazy, lilting tone (the trending drawl that passes as emotional singing in this generation) grates more than it soothes. Unlike Ocean whose tone is grounded in soul music and gospel, Shake is something if an imitator who just so happens to have what younger listeners like to listen to.
However, his pen and whomever he produces with (or chooses as his producers/composers) are quite mighty. And if he's the only one sitting at the board, the young artist is certainly has formidable musical depth and vision. One of the album's most evocative tracks, "Blue Velvet" is a beautiful piece of music that adds more veritas and emotional vulnerability to the album than the artist himself. Again, a fantastic, albeit simplistic, ability with words and an incredible grasp of production and composition from whomever it is providing the musical core of the album.
As uninspiring as his vocal tone and delivery are, there's no denying the young artist's musicality. You Can't Kill Me contains a lush musical landscape that more than anything else should draw you in as a listener. Yes, taking much from emotive artists of a greater vocal prowess and (arguable) musical caliber, 070 Shake still has a commendable musical vision that makes this album no less stunning than those he borrows from.