1969 is the title of contemporary hip hop artist L3o’s first EP. L3o is a genre-bending artist, but his style is perhaps closer to R&B with its slow tempo and rhythm. With his roots in Miami, Florida, it is safe to assume that many artists would have influenced and shaped L3o’s sensibilities. He has garnered a loyal following thanks to this unorthodox sound.
L3o has been actively making music since 2015, and the album 1969 is one of L3o’s earliest works, with its release in early 2017. It has a total of seven tracks, spread over a runtime of a little over thirty-five minutes. Each song ties into the next one smoothly, while the sonic expression in each invokes an entirely different mood.
L3o – 1969
Albums like this one, where no single emotion saturates them, are always an exciting auditory experience. 1969 opens with the track Blue Skies: P.T.L.L., and what do you say? It’s a banger.
The chorus is lively, there is a light electronic quality to the production, and there are cheerful moments throughout the length of the track. However, it is indeed a song about blue skies, as the verses remind you. The next song is Morgellons, and this one is more honest to the R&B genre I mentioned earlier.
Third on the tracklist is Intermission (No More Love Songs). This one is a mellow instrumental break that makes for a tremendous LoFi trip. I personally felt super productive with this one in the background, and then it melts into the next song, Rolling Stone. Almost contrastingly, this track is centered around a quick beat. It combines many layers of production with almost dancing keys and smooth vocals.
3 AM Waterfall stands out to me for its second half, with a tunnel-in-the-rain piano solo that is haunting and mystical, a signature sonic bite that stays with the musician to this date. This one is followed by 1969, the album’s namesake and the penultimate song on the tracklist.
Last in is Villtropolis, the perfect last track as it is the album’s highest point for me. It harbors rage, fear, guilt, and hope, all arranged artistically in the sounds. L3o wants us to take away this energy as we end this musical experience. He wants us to remember that we have come a long way and that we will travel farther ahead. Despite the rocky roads and hardships, the journey must continue.
Being an expression of the artist’s earliest sounds, the album 1969 sets him up for what comes after. He has been consistently putting out an LP each year since (except for 2021 – but we all know these last few years were basically one.)
Leo’s 2020 release Latency has gathered much critical appreciation and is highly recommended by me as well. And his latest release, A.nom.aly, from earlier this year, showcases the evolution of his artistic expression.
Listen to 1969 by L3o here:
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Discovered via http://musosoup.com