Steve Lacy — Gemini Rights — Album Review

R&B | Pop | Soul | Funk

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

Steve Lacy was only an artist that I was a little familiar with. But, having almost reviewed his 2019 debut album Apollo XXI, I was already relatively aware of his funky style of r&b/soul. His overall aesthetic creates a very summery feel. And with the time in which his sophomore studio album has arrived, I felt it a better time than ever to officially review Lacy’s music.

The album in question, titled Gemini Rights, seems to have this lovesick narrative sprawled across the project. In his own words, Lacy wanted to make this record “concise”. And by the standards of the narrative, it certainly does.

The record very much plays into the typical tropes of what one would expect from a funky R&B album. And while this allows the album to stand as an incredibly accessible project, Lacy injects his signature aesthetic across the album to keep things somewhat refreshing and unique. Through the production especially (which Steve Lacy himself had roughly 90% of his involvement in) gives Gemini Rights an aesthetic that feels somewhere between a late 70’s pop-rock record, and a project you would expect from somebody like Thundercat. The way I see it, that’s a pretty sweet place for this project to be in.

The ways in which Gemini Rights surpasses the appeal of Lacy’s previous studio album, could arguably be by the merits of the more layered instrumentals, better mixing, and the aforementioned narrative. There were quite a few moments on the project where I could feel myself relating to the lyrics that were being sung.

That being said, however, there were also some lyrics that took me out of the moment slightly (I mean, the “daddy’s faults fell down on me” lyric found in “Mercury” sound way too much like “daddy’s farts” for me to take it seriously; I’m sorry if I’ve ruined that song for you as well). On top of that, the vocal range of Steve Lacy can be slightly rough around the edges too. However, this is coming from someone who has recently been conditioned by the angelic voice of Brent Faiyaz, so I’ll let it slide.

Moving away from those few minor gripes, there are a number of things that Gemini Rights absolutely gets right. Especially as I ventured further on into the record, I could really feel that summer atmosphere kick in with full force. The tracks which served as some of my personal highlights on the album all seem to share the similar bright, warm and fuzzy guitar chords, courtesy of Steve Lacy himself.

In short, Gemini Rights is a solid record and then some. With its lovesick and reflective narrative, as well as some brilliant production in the vast majority of the albums corners, it feels like an incredibly apt album for the summer, one that I will surely continue to enjoy as the summer warmth lingers on for a while longer.

Favourite Tracks: Helmet | Bad Habit | Sunshine

Least Favourite Track: Mercury

L-M Records | RCA Records | Sony Music

Final Score: 77%

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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.