From the first gummy synth chord, Ravyn Lenae’s Crush strikes an understated warmth. The five songs see sharp melodic writing and lush vocal and instrumental layering, making for a welcoming personality and an addicting sensibility. Throw in the tale about a missed connection and some help from cell phone king Steve Lacy on the production side of things, the EP doesn’t depart from Lenae’s charismatic past, but sees her jump into a larger pair of shoes and craft her most full-bodied work to date.
Great hooks and lyrical turn arounds are a constant with vivid detailing carrying these moments to new heights. Closer (Ode 2 U) sees a short verse to start with the lyrical couplet “I love it when you take me round your boys like I’m your girl/I love it when you run your pretty fingers through my curls” underpinned by an acrobatic vocal gesture to match the coy lyricism. Flourishing vocals follow as a chorus provides splashes of sound.
The Night Song sees a more driving chorus “Hair down, feeling alright/Got my edges on tight, it’s a party tonight,” before album highlight 4 Leaf Clover finds punchiness in the syncopated synth line to juxtapose the solemn themes in the duet between Lenae and Lacy. It’s short and sweet, but relentlessly rich, hopefully signaling a fruitful career to come.