Album Review: dvsn – SEPT. 5TH

What do you get when you combine the guy that produced Hotline Bling and a unknown Canadian r&b singer? In short, you get one of the best albums of the year. The best thing about this album is that you can listen to it all the way through. I know that’s a really corny thing to say, but it’s true. There isn’t a single bad song on this album, and it sounds like every track really had a lot of thought and effort put into it.

This alternate r&b album perfectly utilizes the lo-fi sound Toronto is becoming known for. With a combination of minimal but hard-hitting drums, heavy synths, and beautiful runs this album embodies what alternate r&b should be. While production does take the forefront in some songs, like Too Deep the album offers more than just great production quality. Daniel Daley has a few shining moments on this album, in particular Sept. 5th, Daley’s falsetto is remarkably beautiful. Another song where Daley shines is Angela, where Daley is able to tell a story to the listener.

This album is not too advanced lyrically, but as I am probably known for saying at this point, lyrics don’t matter in every context. This is a case where lyrics don’t really matter. While the album does have it’s lyrical moments, like the song Angela where Daley sings about his ex-lover, the album is mainly about sex as most Alternative R&B is. In my opinion, music is all about accomplishing a goal, and a clear goal for dvsn was to make an album with high sexual energy, and they totally succeeded. Not only did they make an album with high sexual energy, but they made what I believe to be a genre defining album. SEPT. 5TH perfectly represents Alternative R&B, it sounds like a mixture of all of the most popular artists styles. You can hear FKA TWIGS and PARTYNEXTDOOR in the falsetto and vocal runs, you can hear The Weeknd and Miguel in the highly sexual lyrics, and you can hear Bryson Tiller in the trap influenced drums. Not to say that this album rips off any of these artists, I’m just saying it shows the head space of in the genre with dvsn’s own personal touch.

Everybody’s got different sides to ’em

She’s no exception to the rule

One day she’s hotter than the sun

Next she’s colder than the moon

I was very close to giving this album an A+, but there was just something missing for me. I don’t really know what it was, but I think it’s the lack of differentiation in the songs. Don’t get me wrong I love consistency in music, and it’s important for an artist to have a signature sound but it’s almost as if the songs were too similar. The energy remained the same all the way through, and while it’s a good album to listen to if you’re in the bedroom (wink wink) it could get boring for some listeners to listen to for fun. That being said, the album is absolutely fantastic, and it’s definitely worth a bit of your time. I can’t wait to see what dvsn puts out next.

Favorite Songs: Too Deep, Sept. 5th, The Line

Least Favorites Songs: None!

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