An Alternative R&B album with modern hip-hop and soul influences, James’s record is a refreshingly candid confessional about the excesses and repercussions of life lived hard. Bottle Down, a moody mid-tempo jam and the first single to be lifted from the record, sets the scene with haunting harmonies and lyrical embellishments that paints pain as a necessary catalyst for growth. Ballads like “HELL.O.V.E.” and “How I Got Over” continue this theme, while hip-hop oriented tracks “Voices…” and “Zero Gravity” explore the ferocity of addiction. Up-tempo cuts Trip the Alarm, “Mess With My Cool” and “Hey, Kid” offer light at the end of a dark tunnel.
While finishing the album, the songs’ themes inspired the musician to write a fictional novel about a struggling young addict who discovers he has a superpower. The result? A captivating and cool music-and-novel odyssey that Rawiri James hopes will inspire as well as entertain long-term fans of R&B music and YA fiction.