IDK & KAYTRANADA — Simple. — Album Review

Hip-Hop | Pop

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

After the release of quite the amazing album in the form of USEE4YOURSELF less than a year ago, I wasn’t exactly expecting the hip-hop project of pop rap artist Jason Aaron Mills, better known as IDK, to return so strongly whilst the musical year of 2022 still hasn’t reached its middle stage.

While the signs were certainly there, with the release of the teaser track “Taco” earlier this year, along with the single “Dog Food” (featuring Denzel Curry) shortly after, I was expecting these tracks to perhaps make up some kind of EP.

What I wasn’t expecting, however, was a collaborative project with beloved producer KAYTRANADA (another artist enjoyed by myself, who had also released material in 2021) which doubles as IDK’s third studio album. Enter; Simple.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Simple., other than the fact that it’d be a great listen. After all, I’m a big fan of both artists, and was definitely excited to see the two of them collaborate under one record.

It’s safe to say, that both IDK and KAYTRANADA make for quite the dream team on this album, as the producer’s vibrant and danceable beats really bring out the best in IDK’s rap style, and vice versa with how the rapper brings out the best in KAYTRANADA.

With a runtime of under 20 minutes, Simple. also feels like a very easy listening experience, that one can get through in a fast-paced environment. And while I would normally knock a record of this runtime for coming across more like an EP than an album, especially when you stack it up against the near hour and a half long runtime of USEE4YOURSELF, I still think that this record manages to give listeners enough to enjoy for the runtime to not matter nearly as much.

Despite its title, Simple. is stylistically anything but. It really comes of as that kind of piece that is heavily focused on style. And thanks to KAYTRANADA’s brilliant production, and IDK’s enthusiasm, that sentiment really pays off.

In fact, pretty much every song on this record felt enjoyable to listen to. And while they do serve a little purpose in regards to pushing the narrative forward, I felt that the two interludes this album has, “Southeast to Paris” and “Paris to Southeast” were the only real things that felt a little unnecessary. I think that these two could have easily been tacked onto other tracks on here. By doing that, and adding maybe another track or two, Simple. would’ve been a truly brilliant album.

That isn’t to say that Simple. is mediocre without those changes, however. I still think that this album is just another sign of how great the musical month of May 2022 is going to be (or so I predict).

On top of that, Simple. is still a pretty good helping of what amazing material can come out of these two great artists working together. I certainly hope that this won’t be the last time we see IDK and KAYTRANADA together on one record, as I thoroughly enjoyed the warm and stylish vibes brought out by this awesome record.

Favourite Tracks: Dog Food | Breathe | Taco

Least Favourite Tracks: The Interludes

Clue No Clue | Warner Records

Final Score: 77%

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My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

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Joe Boothby

Joe Boothby

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

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