Liv.e, the producer and singer, released her project titled, “Couldn’t Wait To Tell You”. The project is 20 songs long and sees her release her full-length debut album. Liv.e originates from Dallas, Texas and within the album there are noticeable drawings of inspiration from her hometown. Her sound infuses Hip-Hop, R&B, Soul, and Funk. Her more recent appearance was on Earl Sweatshirt’s “Feet of Clay” EP.
The production starts off with a jazz synth piano chords, which set a laidback atmosphere. She speaks over the chords, discussing her love story with herself. She tries to emphasize the importance of self-love but due to the short-length of the intro song, ‘’What’s the Real’’, the idea is only touched sightly and leaves the audience seeking more on the topic. The transition to ‘’How It Made Me Feel’ might be the most confusing as it switches to an up-tempo piano and banjo chords, which gives off a New Orleans jazz feel to it. Her vocal performance is impressive and it leaves an impression that she has moved on since her previous heartbreak. High hats in ‘’Bout These Pipedreams’’ contribute to the theme of love that she is craving. Where in “Stories with Aunt Liv”, she returns to the same formula of production. She kicked off the album with a smooth jazz beat, which she talks over about her previous encounters of love and how she ruined it by letting the spark die.
‘’Lessons From My Mistakes… but I lost Your Number’’ is a continue of the previous song and how she has realised the mistakes she’s made in previous relationships. The song is constructed in a way that the cello and piano chords, allows her to give a spoken word performance, which makes the listeners feel as if they were at jazz club on a rainy night. There’s a beat switch up, as cello chords add more bass to the drums and deepens the mood of love – which she seems to have for her newfound lover.
That beat switches in the previous song compliments the transition into ‘’About Love at 21’’ because in ‘’About Love at 21”, she expresses her deep love for her lover and reminisces about the moments that they shared. The production enhances the feelings she’s expressed as it has a soulful smooth piano, almost reminiscent of an 80s soul vibe. From ‘’About Love at 21’’, she just continues discussing her new love and experiences. The production does not change by much, as it currents with the smooth jazz piano and cello chords. ‘’Cut to the Chase’’ is a repetition of ‘’Lesson from My Mistakes … but I lost Your Number. It’s a spoken word performance and the production enhances the mission behind the lyrics. The main single from the project, ‘’I Been Livin’’, is not anything different from the songs like ‘’How She Stay Conflicted …. I Hope He Understands’’, ’’About Love at 21’’ and etc, in terms of the formula that she’s used for the production and the mood that she’s trying to set.
All in all, Liv.e has potential to be a star. Her pen is incredible and she’s a gifted musician. The manner in which she discusses her love life and experiences of someone in their early 20s and how difficult it is navigate through life during that age. It’s a relatable experience and many go through it. However, with that said - there is a lot room for growth as one may feel as if some of the song selections were unnecessary as some songs were similar. They came across as reference songs that she used to create the others in the project. Repetition is key when trying to reinforce a concept behind an album, but this might be overwhelming and boring for listeners. Furthermore, the experimental nature of the project may, at times, be difficult to enjoy but that speaks her innovative artistry. With every replay, it gets easier to digest. If the project was roughly 12-15 songs – it would be that much better. The 20-song tracklist works to the project’s detriment and her art but one can leave assured that Liv.e is talented, gifted and one who has much in-store for listeners in future projects.
Written by: Mondli Ndebele | Twitter @ElDiosExcentric
Edited by: Dithekgo Mogadime | Twitter @DithekgoM