Folk N Rock
Spotlight Album: P30JECT – Louie XO

For those of you who’ve been following my reviews, you know I’ve been on the hunt for the good stuff in R&B, rap, and everything in between since February. It’s been tough wading through a sea of unoriginality, but I’m happy to report that something truly unique has finally crossed my path. Today, we’re looking into P30JECT, an album Louie XO, an artist out of Columbus, OH – a city I know pretty well, which happens to be my old stomping grounds.

“Hugh Hefner” kicks off this album, and let me tell you, the title alone gives you a pretty good idea of what you’re in for. But hey, I’m not complaining – this is exactly the kind of unapologetic,  sound I’ve been craving in some new stuff for my ears.

Now, this track isn’t your average run-of-the-mill banger. It’s got layers, man. Seriously, it took me a few spins to even scratch the surface of what’s going on here. The background vocals weave in and out, there are all these intricate overlays, and the whole thing is just… well, it’s a lot. But it’s a good kind of lot.

It’s like the producer took a smooth 90s R&B groove, the kind I grew up on, and threw it in a blender with some seriously modern production techniques. The result is something that feels both familiar and totally fresh at the same time. One thing that really grabbed me is the vocal delivery.

Some lines hit you accentuated by these trippy effects – almost like a reverb – that make them stand out even more. It’s a subtle touch, but it adds so much to the overall vibe.

It’s a great track. I mean it feels like a hedonistic anthem. It’s all about chasing that high life. I’m absolutely loving the pop culture shout-outs in these lyrics. We get a “Hannah Montana best of both worlds” reference, a clever play on Destiny’s Child – it’s like a lyrical Easter egg hunt. And They’re super fun, clever, and seriously well-written.

And again, I’m finding tracks like ‘Lou Ball’ showcase this smooth, almost this experimental sound in a way. It’s a really great style that works so well for everything. This one here is a personal favorite of mine. I gotta say it’s pretty infectious. It’s just one of those songs that, like every other one on the album, I find myself nodding along to.

There’s this way he sets the atmosphere, and this one in particular really caught my ear with how infectious it is. Like, I’ll just find myself randomly shouting out “LOU BALL” once that line hits. It’s a nice little mellow track and another great one on this album.

So, something I’m finding out more and more about this record is that it’s the kind of album that really goes a long way if you’ve invested in a very nice pair of headphones. A lot of the mixing comes through so much clearer and crisper, and it’s just one of those things where some songs absolutely make use of every cent you pay on one of those fancier high-end headsets.

Now, I’ve only listened to this album through my own personal headphones, so I don’t know how it’s gonna sound on my waterproof MP3 player at the pool or in the car. What I can say is I’m really loving the way that mix is coming through, and that really shines on tracks like “TBA House.”

Something else that’s really cool about this song is the key work. It’s very light, very atmospheric, and that’s pretty much it. The arrangement doesn’t go too hard; there’s nothing really that comes in at any point, it’s just consistent. The vocal work sort of weaves in and out with some occasional line trading. It’s a really great track.

The album concludes with “Car Convos” featuring Marakaia, a track that cleverly captures a conversation in a car, adding a unique touch to the listening experience. It’s a fly-on-the-wall moment as the he asks for feedback on the album itself, all while car sound effects play in the background. It’s a brilliant way to kick off the track and yet another example of the creative flair that’s going on here.

And let me tell you, this smooth R&B vibe that permeates the entire project is an absolute home run. It’s a sound that resonates deeply with me, harkening back to a cherished era of music that I hold close to my heart. He nailed this, and clearly understands the power of this style when fused with some rap.

The mix on “Car Convos” is nothing short of stellar, I love the meticulous attention to detail that went into crafting this album. There’s this subtle percussive element that comes in through the track, almost like a half-time snare drum that complements the laid-back beat perfectly. It’s a subtle touch, but it adds a layer of complexity that keeps the track interesting.

Marakaia’s vocals are the icing on the cake, bringing an undeniable elegance to the track. Her voice just sounds great with the mellow instrumentation, adding a touch of sophistication to the already smooth vibes. It’s a match made in heaven, and the perfect way to bring this album journey to a close.

You know what? This album reminds me of something unexpected: punk rock. Now, that might sound like a head-scratcher, at this point, you’ve heard me going on and on about this smooth R&B/soul vibe that I’m absolutely loving. So, you’re probably thinking, “What’s this guy talking about? Punk rock?”

Yeah, punk rock.

I know, I know, it might sound like a wild comparison, but hear me out. This is an album where the longest track clocks in at a mere 2 minutes and 9 seconds, with most barely surpassing the one-minute mark. It’s a rapid-fire succession of quick hitters, each one packed with as much punch as a circle pit.

It’s like those old-school punk records, where every song was a burst of pure energy, (or in this case, awesome vibes) getting straight to the point and leaving you wanting more. And that’s exactly what this Louie XO does here. There’s no filler, no fluff, just a relentless barrage of hooks and melodies that hit you.

You don’t feel like he’s cutting anything short. The music gets to the point, proving that not everything needs to be a three-minute radio hit. It’s a refreshing change of pace, a reminder that sometimes less is more. I absolutely love this style and the way he just goes for it. It’s like he’s saying, “I can say all I need to say in one minute, and I’m going to hook you from start to finish. You’ll be hitting replay before you even realize it.”

And you know what? He would be absolutely right. I highly recommend you check out this artist and this record. You won’t be disappointed.

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Jeff