Right from it’s soulful start, InsomniaK seems like it will be a project with a classic R&B feel and it doesn’t disappoint. Most of this 15 track effort by the Bronx, New York native harkens back to the sound of the rhythm’n’blues heyday of the 1990s, but it’s a sound recently revived by neo soul artists of today such as Anderson Paak and Frank Ocean. When listening, you wouldn’t be alone in thinking that ImSoMaleek’s does sounds like Ocean at times, they share similar smooth vocal crooning abilities, mostly evident on early album highlights Lois Lane, a velvety mid-tempo jam and Baby It’s You, with it’s earworm of a hook. ImSoMaleek seems at ease constructing songs with catchy hooks making the album such an easy listen.
Raindrops provides a welcome change of pacing, slowing down the album briefly to provide a sensual 3 and a half minutes, filled with sweet displays of melisma and a chilled acoustic guitar-led backing. Summer In The Winter is New Jack Swing personified whilst On and Off wouldn’t sound amiss on top 40 radio of today.
“You’ll be giving all types of loving, i’m the only one you say you trusting” he sings on Dream On It, stunning song about taking on the world with a significant other. With a sweet simple piano riff and a chilled electric guitar solo in it’s crescendo, it includes a sample of the late, great Prince. Not one from music, as Prince was famously against the interpolation of his compositions but of his “Like books and Black lives, albums do matter” speech from the Grammys a year before his untimely death. What the snippet has to do with the song exactly, unaware.. but it for sure is an important sentiment for us to remember in a time of such uncertainty in the music industry which is having to change and adapt rapidly as albums seemingly matter less and hot streaming hits matter more. From having previously toured with the likes of Bow Wow, Omarion, Ciara and T.I, ImSoMaleek has clearly taken his time in crafting a cohesive body of work that speaks true to himself as a person and still maintains replay value.
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