The first TDE release of the year is also one of my most anticipated as well. SiR has been attracting an increasingly dedicated fan-base (including me, for course) with his passionate, soulful neo-soul and R&B sound. He signed to Top Dawg Entertainment in January of last year, having appeared on albums from TDE members Jay Rock and Isaiah Rashad, before releasing his debut project on the label titled HER Too, featuring the likes of Anderson .Paak, King Mez & Masego. This was the project that further elevated him to a level of recognition and anticipation he had never experienced up to this point. So of course, a new project of his in 2018 was something I had to look forward to this year.
November is the result, a gorgeous, passionate and soulful new 11-track album. It’s an incredibly cohesive project, which highlights SiR’s range as a singer and songwriter. The production is lush, dense and layered, which to me echoes the quality of an album such as D’Angelo’s Black Messiah. The heavy drums and the eerie undertones to the synths on ‘That’s Alright’ is met with conflicting messages of love, saying that he “would trade her love for a Grammy,” highlighting the difficulty of finding a balance between love and the very tempting forces of success. Similar messages continue on tracks such as ‘Something Foreign’ with ScHoolboy Q, where he is “Tryna keep it humble in a world full of egos, gangsters and evils,” which again highlights his conflicting interests. His continuing success as an artist makes it tempting for him to brag about his achievements, but is aware of the darkness and evils that come with it, which echoes some of the themes Kendrick Lamar has been talking about on his last few albums. Tracks such as ‘Something New’ featuring Etta Bond, ‘Never Home’ and ‘Dreaming of Me’ are other highlights, with glossy production, impeccable vocal performances and a continued theme of love, loss and conflicting interests.
This album has exceeded my expectations, and the more I listen to it, the better it sounds. It’s the subtle details in production on the album, the vocal performances, diverse hooks and song structures that make SiR’s November a very early contender for neo-soul album of the year. Listen to the project below via Spotify, and make sure to support it if you love the art!