RL Grime is one of electronic music's most notable and prolific artists, and not without reason. His newest effort is as accessible as it is dynamic, showing both his pop sensibility and his daringness. RL Grime brings the energy in NOVA, his latest effort that really shows the best of what he does.
NOVA is a dynamic effort all around. It calmly begins with the synths of 'Feel Free,' which curiously builds up to something more confident and expansive, huge drop that gets the energy flowing powerfully. 'Shrine' with Freya Ridings continues with a more poppy energy but a true one all the same, the dramatic start leading to a big drop. Miguel and Julia Michaels provide smooth and relaxing vocals in 'Light Me Up,' keeping the energy flowing freely as it assumes different forms throughout the record. Tracks like 'Reims' explode powerfully with an anthemic atmosphere while others, like ending track 'Atoms' with Jeremy Zucker, keep things calm but appropriate for the record.
While there's a lot going for NOVA, it is a mixed bag. There are some tracks that really don't mesh well and feel either like a cop out of are simply just poorly written. 'UCLA' is one such track, a song that feels so odd in that it goes out of its way to describe, from top to bottom, a girl who moved from Texas to Los Angeles. 24hrs might need to talk some things out with someone. 'OMG' with Joji and Chief Keef feels like a very safe track, not daring enough and really just sticking closely to a hip-hop meets electronic blend formula. With tracks like the big 'Pressure' and 'I Wanna Know' with Daya, there is a clear disparity between the cop outs and the real efforts.
RL Grime brings the energy in NOVA, his latest record that has many highs, but comes with its lows. RL Grime pushes boundaries while still owning a core poppiness, which makes his music so important to the genre. All the same, that makes it easier to tell when he's coping out at times. It's a mixed bag, but sift through it and you'll find some real bangers.
Favorite Tracks: Reims, Light Me Up, Era
Least Favorite Tracks: UCLA, Undo
Rating: 73 / 100
Stream or buy NOVA on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: