photo cred: npr.com
First and foremost, let me just say this –
Fin might just end a few people’s careers.
This is a body of work that has been a long time coming (especially from this writer), with consistent features and golden group projects that Syd – originally known as Syd the Kid – has been steadily involved with since the turn of the decade. She can credit her come-up – like many others to varying degrees – to the collective Odd Future, being most heavily involved in (the many changing forms of) the hard-to-search-for-but-easy-to-love band The Internet.
Her silky vocals and familiar but New-Hotness style of neo-soul and R&B made her as well the groups she involved herself in stand out in a crowd of 10+ talented artists and creators, which in a group as incredible as the likes of Frank Ocean, Tyler the Creator, and Earl Sweatshirt as well as many others, is saying more than enough.
There’s a few somethings different about Syd that are important to mention though.
Her sexuality tends to be the most picked after trait by critics – but what makes it so interesting, raw, and sincere is how unabashedly she can sing and damn-near spit about her truth, as well as how easily she will brag about taking your women along with the many she’s already dealt with. Syd manages to bring her own edge to the R&B-singers-turned-rap-singers atmosphere that contemporary R&B has taken to (credit to those holding it down in this field: Ty Dolla $ign and Kehlani in particular), and her sexuality makes her confident strides and overall braggadocio on songs such as No Complaints and Dollar Bills (how much more cocky can you get then a Syd the Kid strip-club banger?) hit even harder and more bold, leaving more traditional (and frankly boring) artists in the dust.
Another interesting point is that this fresh new album comes off the heels of a great body of work from her main crew, The Internet. Ego Death was an incredible R&B album in its own rite, mixing funk and soul styles of bygone eras with contemporary hip-hop and electronic styles (with a muhfuckin Kaytranada feature, no doubt). But even considering this team triumph, Syd continued to step out on her own, and in a way that gave plenty of respect to the ones she politely ushered off the stage to enjoy her limelight. This dichotomy is most beautifully discussed on, ironically, All About Me. At once, she melodically advises to the audience to “Take care of the family that you came with” while also admitting that “It’s All About Me” in the grand scheme of things. Interestingly, Syd talks freely about how she wants to rise to the limits of her ambition but plans on keeping her team close on many occasions, most notably during The Internet’s Tiny Desk Concert at NPR.
It’s also important to point out how new but familiar the sounds Syd uses on this album are. The beat selection on this album ranges from the Baby Girl – Timbo persuasion on standouts like Know and Nothin to Somethin, but other tracks like the aforementioned Dollar Bills, as well as Got Her Own, and Over, just straight up bang with no consequences considered.
From the well-crooned soul ballads to the hard and ratchet bangers, Syd rides so many different styles so well, and in a way that is uncompromisingly her own. I’ll be damned if one of these songs, if not many, end up one day doing some serious damage on the charts, especially considering how important a voice like Syd’s will be in this day and age.
Imma be honest here, fam. Syd comes off so bold, so versatile, and so charismatic on Fin, it’s a surprise she hasn’t taken all your bitches (and mine) already.