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The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

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Brent’s got me levitating at ‘Larger Than Life’

Brent Faiyaz releases surprise album
Fair use from UnitedMasters

People have high expectations for Brent Faiyaz, and he never seems to disappoint. Faiyaz dropped a surprise album titled “Larger Than Life,” on Oct. 27. The LP (Long-playing record) includes 14 songs, two having been previously released as singles, “Moment Of Your Life” and “WY@.” Going in knowing I already liked two of the songs, I hoped the rest of the songs would keep par with the singles. Coming off his very popular 2022 album “WASTELAND,” Faiyaz had a serious reputation to keep up. He brought us an album with a perfect blend of his contemporary, more modern sound and classic R&B. “Larger Than Life” is a very nice array of Neo-Soul/R&B hits. The diversity of the album’s many features, and Faiyaz’s own mesmerizing vocals, create an experimental, unique and smooth album that holds your attention for its entirety.

The album started with “Tim’s Intro,” a mood setter both lyrically and in quality. The song makes it clear that Faiyaz’s intentions are to live life luxuriously, and that while there’s room for a girl, they are going to have to deal with his lifestyle. Sampling TLC’s “No Scrubs,” it starts the story telling in the album of several short term relationships Faiyaz has engaged in and some of the difficulties surrounding them.

The intro is followed by the super crisp “Last One Left,” a song about difficulties in getting a partner to choose their priorities. Featuring Missy Elliot and Lil Gray, the song is fairly simple but so good. Elliot’s vocals fit in perfectly in the chorus and help put “Last One Left” as definitely one of the best songs in the release. 

Next come two of the four Faiyaz solo songs. “Forever Yours” isn’t the most deep lyrically, but has an adequate name for the story it tells of Faiyaz’s strong feelings towards someone. The funky, space-sounding beat shouldn’t work, yet it does exactly what it needs to for the song. 

“Best Time” switches up the tone again with a short and more melodic tune reaffirming that Faiyaz was the “best time she has ever had.” This song would most definitely be a staple of Faiyaz and the album, embodying Faiyaz’s unique modern R&B style that is being increasingly appreciated.

Included in the album are two “skit” tracks, “Big Mad Skit” and later the “Dawged Em Skit.” The first is an argument between a couple, the female character making fun of the male. The second about a male character talking about his big-time life. While both follow the storyline to an extent, neither seems really necessary. I would say the two tracks add a bit of a nice break from the rhythmic tunes of the rest of the album, but ultimately the project could stand without them. 

The skits can’t bring down the mood much though, as “Moment Of Your Life” featuring Coco Jones, following the first skit, is a hit. Faiyaz and Jones come together with beautiful vocal harmonization in this catchy back and forth romantic melody. The song is hard to ignore, and definitely proved its worth as a single, and then again as a top song on “Larger Than Life.” I got deja vu having it on repeat for the second time since its original release earlier this year.

Immediately following that masterpiece is yet another. The song “Outside All Night” speaks of a search for a deeper connection with someone. Looking for “signs in the stars,” and searching for something more than a superficial relationship, Faiyaz takes the story telling seriously. A$AP Rocky comes in with a seriously good verse stressing the importance of respect and questioning jealousy. The song provides a nice story, in combination with a very catchy, constantly interesting beat and two perfect features — A$AP Rocky and N3WYRKLA. I simply cannot get enough of this song.

Three more mid-album songs I loved were “Wherever I Go,” “Upset” and the single “WY@.” To say the least, these songs are on multiple playlists of mine already. Faiyaz manages to go back-to-back-to-back and so on in “Larger Than Life,” with hit after hit.

As the album came to an end, I was expecting a solid finish, but unexpectedly I was fully engulfed by the final song, “Pistachios.” A very fitting finish for the album, this song is about an encounter between two individuals who find themselves in the same city, late at night, ignoring everything else going on to spend the night together. The sound gives a feeling of a quiet sensual conversation, the tension tangible when you listen.

It’s difficult to cover every single good song on this album. Every track brings something different to the project, each piece a very worthwhile listen. Brent Faiyaz continues to capture emotion and just drowns you in the melody. His borderline hypnotic songs make everything else fade away. He exceeded any expectations I had before listening to the soothing, fully immersive experience of “Larger Than Life.”

“Larger Than Life”: ★★★★★

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About the Contributor
Eliah Fink, Photo Editor
Hi, I'm Eliah. I'm a senior and this is my second year on Echo. I enjoy doing really anything outdoors, camping, swimming, hiking, and taking photos. I enjoy spending time with my friends and family as well. I also enjoy listening to a wide variety of music. I am excited to be a photo editor on Echo this year!

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