Michigan based lo-fi neo-soul/hip hop duo Blanco Suave just released their self-produced and self-titled album, “Blanco Suave”. The 6 track project is a blend of genres and musical styles ranging from jazz, hip-hop, soul and experimental elements. The project as they further explain is focused on juxtapositions—both lyrically or musically. The main vocals are helmed by Gretchen McKenzie who raps and sings with such fiery strength and emotional punch the listener can literally feel her through the layered soundscapes provided by Luke Arquette .
The project was recorded by Luke Arquette and Gretchen McKenzie in their respective home studios. They further serve a personal breakdown of each track as follows
Oozing with soft sexuality and quiet desperation, “Roses” is love song that overflows with natural imagery and subtly showcases both production and vocal strengths. A very warm, gentle beginning to the album akin to slowly drawing a curtain back on a stage.
A romantic’s version of a booty-call, “Redlite” bounces in with a head-nod worthy beat right off the bat. With an aggressive lyrical delivery, and dynamic production, “Redlite” sinks its teeth into the listener, and won’t let go.
“2 Hot 4 Cereal”
“2 Hot 4 Cereal” glimmers into view with soft neo-soul chords before diving straight into the deep end of a synth-driven earworm track. A humorous but catchy take on a love song, it feels like a natural continuation of the first two tracks on “Blanco Suave.”
Choppy jazz piano and driving drums complement raw, passionate vocals on “Strange.” Constantly evolving; both the beat and raps grow and morph together, creating a swirling emotional atmosphere that is beautiful and stark.
“If I Had A”
A humorous perspective on the ideal uses of male genitalia in politics and life, “If I Had A” is a catchy breath of fresh air. Also worth noting; it includes the only trap beat on the album. Pleasantly heavy, and chock-full of hard-hitting lyrics.
Finishing out the album is “My Block;” a track brimming with joy and self-confidence. A perfect track to drive or walk to, “My Block” is full of pulsing movement and vibrant energy.