In recent years, changes to R&B have opened doors to those willing to experiment with the genre. Talented artists like Frank Ocean, How To Dress Well and The Weeknd have all played a role in re-creating melodies that embody the genre’s rhythmic origins, while still implementing new elements that allow them to stand out from other artists. Another addition to this list is Inc., a Los Angeles duo comprised of brothers Daniel and Andrew Aged. The band’s newest full-length release, “No World,” captures the true essence of dark, empty beauty.
The most noticeable and intriguing quality of “No World” comes from Andrew Aged’s amorous and distilled vocals, which remain at a constant pitch. There are many R&B tracks that have flourished through that method, like Prince’s “Adore,” or Mary J. Blige’s “Real Love,” but Andrew seems fully aware that such variation is unnecessary. This record is intensely personal, and Andrew’s gentle help him to express his true feelings on each track.
It’s no surprise that the album’s stellar production comes from the brothers themselves. The instrumentals align almost perfectly with Andrew’s vocals and never try to draw your attention away from the album’s overall effect.
In “The Place,” the album’s first single, the instrumentals draw you in and provide a proper introduction to the song’s first verses. The subsequent track, “Angel,” works hand-in-hand with Andrew’s melody to evoke a sweet and sensual message and still maintain an ethereal, atmospheric effect.
As seductive as “No World” gets, it also does a great job of extending itself beyond the bedroom and into the listener’s soul. “Black Wings” makes it okay to cry about being hurt, and “Nariah’s Song” is the perfect track for a midnight stroll in an unfamiliar city. The variety of these tracks allows listeners to relish in their universal appeal.
“No World” hits you at your core. It’s a special record with a delicacy and subtleness that cannot be fully appreciated until the listener reaches the album’s end. The climax fills the emptiness in your heart and allows you to come to terms with your emotions. Such a moving album is sure to leave a lasting impression on listeners. The album was released Feb. 19.
Kemet Dugue is a staff writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.