First making a name for himself as The Internet’s guitarist, Steve Lacy steps into his own on his debut album, Apollo XXI. This isn’t Lacy’s first solo effort. He released an EP back in 2017 titled Steve Lacy’s Demo, as well as a string of singles. He also has production credits to songs from some of your favorite artists, including Kendrick Lamar, Isaiah Rashad, and J. Cole.
A Man of Many Talents
Steve Lacy is a man with many talents. From singing to producing, and all of those talents thrive on this album. With the first song, “Only If”, he takes you on a psychedelic ride that you never seem to get off of. Musically, you can tell Lacy is heavily influenced by Frank Ocean. But this album feels more like Tame Impala’s “Currents” then it does “Channel Orange” or “Blonde”. Lacy is definitely redefining what the listener may consider being “black music”.
Lacy’s voice blends well with the production on this album. You can tell he is first a producer, then a singer. The production often outshines Lacy’s vocals on most of the album, which at times can feel too overbearing. However, there are certain cases on this album where I do see the growth in Lacy’s voice. On songs like “Love 2 Fast” Lacy’s voice carries the song. The warmth of his tone over the beautiful guitars and synths would make any listener want to rewind. His voice also pairs well with the albums only featured artist, DAISY. This was my first time hearing DAISY, and I could say I was thoroughly impressed. Her warm voice over Lacy’s psychedelic production sounded like a match made in heaven. His production is at its peak on the near vocal-less “Amandla’s Interlude”. The beautifully soothing guitar strings paired with what sounds like a violin is sure to make the listener drift off into a near dream state. It does this before immediately shifting into the funky lead single “N Side”.
Lacy has a bright future ahead of him. A future outside of The Internet and this album does nothing but prove that. Apollo XXI is definitely an acquired listen, but if given a chance, it certainly has the potential to wow the listener and take them on a crazy roller coaster that they may never want to get off of.