With any given Sunday being the perfect day to listen to Soul and R&B, usually, I will drop a review for that genre. However, yesterday was a recovery day from the weekend so “Soulful Sunday” is “Soulful Monday” this week and we are starting it off with a hidden gem. Normal is an EP that is truly a work of art from the Compton based rapper and singer Garren. Beautiful vocals, strong beats, and phenomenal verses all combine to create a strong debut project. Garren truly kills it with this release and it still isn’t getting enough publicity for my likings.
Throughout the EP, Garren keeps a high standard for his beautiful voice. The young man has quite an ability that can be especially seen in “Conversation”, “Normal”, and “Energy”. He truly pours his heart and soul into each note and it shows. However, one of the biggest takeaways from Garren’s work is the similarity in his sound to that of Chris Brown. With the mix of his rapping ability and emotional vocal talent, combined over some high tempo beats, you can’t help but notice the likeness in songs such as “The Code” and “Misunderstood”.
To be honest, I searched everywhere for who was the producer for Garren’s beats and couldn’t find anyone. I am not sure if they are “type beats” or were made for the EP, however, they all fit perfectly. If we go back to “Misunderstood”, not only do we get that great vocal talent, but the beat forces you to bob your head. You won’t even be able to help it. The repeating piano piece in the back pairs well with the overlays of uptempo hi-hats bass kicks. “Energy” may have the best beat of the whole project though, with its haunting electronic samples combined with a piano and bass. Plus, when that hi-hat comes on during the chorus, god damn!
So, without knowing the producer, I can’t give him or her any props. Yet, the production is on point. All the transitions are smooth and the vibe of the album is fluid. If Garren had anything to do with the production, hats off to him because it is a job well done.
Instant favorites from the project are “Energy”, “Misunderstood”, and “The Code”. I think I have listened to each of these at least once a week since I found the EP in early March.
Garren bodies it on this EP. Was there anything wrong know? No. Can an album or EP be perfect? Normally, I would say no – but Normal is just too good not to consider it a masterpiece. In other words (or numbers if we are being technical), I give Garren’s Normal:
When you listen, you will understand why…just trust me on this one. This needs to be in your rotation.