RIYL: Khalid; Russ; Quinn XCII; Frank Ocean; Skizzy Mars
It is refreshing to notice the unity among the music and arts community. Champions of this community have pushed boundaries and have helped to redefine “intelligence” as an immeasurable trait by any one scale. Los Angeles singer-rapper-producer Luke Christopher is not only a champion of this community, but also an example of its significance.
Though a series of independent mixtape releases and his major label EP releases, Christopher’s TMRW gang movement has gained major traction among his followers. The movement is all about expressing oneself through art, music, fashion and creativity and making a better tomorrow for oneself through those outlets.
The physical manifestation of this movement comes in the form of an educational foundation for those kids who excel in these areas that aren’t taught through academia. Christopher himself is one of the artistically gifted, and he demonstrates his talents with his latest release, TMRWFRVR (Juy 28, 2017 via ByStorm Entertainment/RCA Records). All fifteen tracks were created by Christopher, from the songwriting stage all the way to the final touches behind the mixing board.
Listen: “Lost” – Luke Christopher
Though individually relatable and commercially viable, it falls ever so short as the lyricism and creativity on some tracks seem to have a disconnect between its overall contextual purpose. The leading single, “Lost,” is the standout. The rush of trying to navigate a new love despite all of its confusion comes alive in this exciting rap-rock anthem. The theme of a trying romance continues with “Waterfalls” and “Complicated,” where he figures out a frustrating realization that true love is not all about incredibly romantic moments, but rather a feeling that should just last without constantly trying to please one another.
Watch: “Waterfalls” – Luke Christopher
“Believer” may contain borderline corny lyricism, but it is a sweet and well-crafted love song nevertheless. “Can’t Sleep” is a cry for comfort on a lonely night, and one can feel Christopher’s desperation increase as the song’s intensity follows suit. “Selfless” begins to touch on the idea of individual betterment that seems to surround the movement behind the album. It is his promise to begin working on his own problems for once instead of worrying about the problems of others.
The middle portion of the album seems to function as a series of album fillers. Though catchy and uplifting, the vague message — or lack thereof — behind “Jameson,” leaves an inconsistent feeling with the listener. “Other Beds” illustrates his regret in a failed relationship, while he begs for a second chance with “Higher.” The honesty that Christopher has proven capable of expressing returns with “Give Me Your Pain,” as he explores purposelessness and the struggles that come with being an artist in the spotlight. With “SmallTown,” he tells the story of meeting a girl who is trying to start a new life. He assures her that a life with him is the one she wants, and his confidence and optimism are contagious.
“Heartbreak Fiction” signifies the end of a relationship to him that seems so surreal and unbelievable. It seems to go hand-in-hand with “Pretend,” as he wonders if the relationship was even based in true love. However, Christopher seems all to eager to jump into something new with “Till You Die,” where he can’t help but contain his nervousness and excitement for love. In terms of organizational structure of the album, “Lot to Learn” seems to be perfectly placed. Looking forward, he leaves listeners on a note of optimism. Although he admits that he doesn’t have the answer to everything, he wants to try to learn and better himself, and he looks forward to that personal growth.
Watch: “Lot to Learn” – Luke Christopher
Christopher’s humanity shows in the album’s lyrical shortcomings and organizational inconsistencies. Nevertheless, it seems like a step in the right direction. The album boasts catchy arrangements that span more than just hip-hop and R&B. Musically, he proves to be as boundless as the future that he aims to create for himself and other artists.
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Cover © 2017