2017 has been quite the year for Brent Faiyaz. He was featured on one of the hottest songs, and crafted possibly the best hook of the year in “Crew.” In addition to that, he teamed up with producers Atu and Dpat - forming Sonder - to drop the album Into. On Sonder Son, Brent Faiyaz ends his breakout year with a smooth, yet captivating bang. Combining his silky voice with laidback production, Faiyaz is able to vividly paint pictures as he recounts tales from his life in his debut album.
What makes Brent Faiyaz special is his ability to write intimate and relate-able songs. Rather than taking a larger than life approach, Brent maintains a down-to-earth presence as he documents leaving Baltimore to come to LA and pursue his dreams. The album starts off with “Home,” giving a peak into Brent’s disinterest in school and struggles in his home life. From there, he continues to keep it candid throughout the album touching on topics, like life in LA to women that spark his interest and everything else in between. On “LA,” he sings about struggling to make ends meet in LA but rationalizes that things could be much worse. Despite his dealings he manages to still find joy in chasing his dreams while being able to experience LA’s beauty.
The album’s production is reminiscent of old-school R&B similar to classic Babyface riddled with acoustic guitar riffs throughout. “Talk 2 U” fully encapsulates that true R&B feel. The catchy guitar riff coupled with the bass line and drums is reminiscent of early Usher. The album is filled with laidback and minimalistic production that perfectly compliments Brent’s voice. Even with the minimalist production throughout the album, there is still a certain level of complexity and depth found in each of the songs. This is evident on “First World Problemz/Nobody Carez,” as the song’s production switches up multiple times throughout going from a classic R&B feel, to a Spanish guitar influence, and closing out on a borderline Grunge vibe.
Overall, Brent Faiyaz had a strong debut with Sonder Son. The album is a complete departure from his band’s - Sonder - sound. He also didn’t try to recapture the sound on “Crew,” which broke him into the mainstream. Instead, he found a sound that fit true to his voice and the story he wanted to tell. While it still seems like he is trying to get his foot fully into the game, the future is looking bright for Brent.