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Album Review: I Love You Say It Back by KEY!

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KEY! is an American rapper from Atlanta. Originally creating and being part of Two-9, he has mainly been releasing solo work for the past few years, such as a collaboration album with Kenny Beats in 2018. Now, KEY! has released his latest and one of his most anticipated albums, I Love You Say It Back.

The first track from the album is Bottom of The Bottle. The track opens up with a melodic piano for the beat. On this track, he talks about drinking as well as the various other drugs he has used or is using. He tends to use some sort of auto-tune feature towards the end of each verse that kind of takes away from the message of the track.

After that, we have Sugar & Rice which is a quick track that is just a little over two minutes in length. The beat consists of a few electronic notes sprinkled here and there. You also have your typical drumbeat thrown in there. On this track, he talks about this girl loving him at first, but then she started making things complicated with him. He was wondering and hoping that she would start loving him again.

After a somewhat dull and uninteresting start to the album, Let's Go has a redeeming quality. The synth chord playing in the background is entrancing, and I can't remember where I heard it before. This is definitely one of the more outgoing and upbeat tracks from the album. There are some clever lines in there, but not something that would make it a top song of the year by any means. Basically, he's trying to get with this girl and doesn't want to have to deal with the small talk beforehand.

First Date tones down the album again with the low electronic note droning on. There's really not much going on here. KEY! talks about how he's trying to impress this girl with all of the things that he has. He also talks about how other people are jealous of what he has.

Vibin is a short, sub two-minute track from the album, but it is an upbeat banger. KEY! was able to get Kenny Beats to produce this track for him. As stated above, he had a collaboration album with Kenny Beats back in 2018. This is just a feel-good track and not worrying about what others think of him when he's in the mood/zone.

Boys Don't Cry starts out with a booming chorus section that also has a feature from Bobby Raps. After the light and playful chorus, it switches to a more bass-heavy, trap-style beat. On this track, he acknowledges that he is trying to be tough and say that boys don't cry. However, you can definitely tell that he feels sad or emotional about something and can't necessarily hold it in.

KEY! makes a Star Wars reference on this next track, Anakin. Besides the booming bass on this track, he lets people know that he shouldn't get on his 'bad' side, just like how Anakin turned to the dark side in Star Wars.

Next, Out The Way is surprisingly the longest track on the album, just a little bit longer than three minutes in length. Technically, it's the only track that's over three minutes on the album, if that tells you how short and to the point this album is. This is another tuned down track with the light synth notes in the background.

After that, we have Spend One Night. The auto-tune and ad-libs in the background just make it distracting and lifeless. It's just not a track that I enjoy listening to at all. On this track, he talks about how this girl wants to be his girlfriend after spending one night with him.

The final and shortest track on the album is YND. It's the only other sub two-minute track from the album. This is another light and playful track, with a little bit more singing compared to the other ones. He talks about how this is a dream to him, especially since he gets to do what he enjoys doing, which is rapping and making music.

Overall Rating: 4/10
Favorite Tracks: Let's Go, Vibin

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