Kaytranada – TIMELESS

A broad, well-executed statement...

This is Kaytranada’s time. The house-meets-hip-hop production style he has finessed is now firmly in the mainstream, and he’s got the Grammy awards to prove it. ’TIMELESS’ has, perhaps ironically, been a long time coming – sure, he’s got a plethora of guest production and collaborative credits, but this is actually his first artist album since 2019’s ‘Bubba’. Paced like a DJ set, it’s a quickfire burst through a plethora of ideas that remains enthralling from first to last.

Much of the focus will naturally fall on the big-name collaborations, but it’s noticeable how refined, how distinctive Kaytranada’s production sensibility has become. Much-imitated but instantly recognisable, cuts like ‘Pressure’ and ‘Seemingly’ have a charm of their own, with ‘Stepped On’ displaying vivacious energy.

It’s this production skill that provides the bedrock for the record, with ‘TIMELESS’ being replete with talent. Durand Bernarr is fantastic on ‘Weird’, while the electrifying ‘Drip Sweat’ links Kaytranada with kindred spirit Channel Tres. Don Toliver is at his punchy best on ‘Feel A Way’, an artist who never seems to waste a feature; Charlotte Day Wilson offers something entirely different, though, on the soulful ‘Still’.

Anderson .Paak and SiR unite on the anthemic ‘Do 2 Me’, with a resurgent Childish Gambino starring ‘Witchy’. Given the sheer length of credits, you could be forgiven for assuming ‘TIMELESS’ is scattergun – in fact, it feels well-curated, and expertly paced, driven by Kaytranada’s assurance, and his club-forged instincts for what works, and what doesn’t. Closing with a quartet of bonus cuts – including the PinkPantheress voiced ‘Snap My Finger’ – this an album that proves Kaytranada’s production skills to be limitless.

8/10

Words: Robin Murray

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