Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

YUNGMORPHEUS ends another productive year with the slight but densely enjoyable Burnished Sums

"Burnished Sums"

Release date: 18 November 2022
YUNGMORPHEUS Burnished Sums album artwork
18 November 2022, 13:30 Written by Joe Creely

The seemingly never-ending flurry of activity that is YUNGMORPHEUS’s discography spawns his fourth record of 2022, this time solo and using the features sparingly to produce an EP that feels like a short belt of immaculate, quiet fury.

While the beats don’t have the unpredictability that some of his underground contemporaries have, there’s a lushness and expressiveness to them across the EP. Creme’s beat on "The Price of Convenience" marries a stuttering drum pattern with a soupy mulch of samples, all running in slightly different directions, but, when propelled by his dead-eyed, insistent flow, it coalesces into something that really works.

Similarly, "Head Above Water" uses a combination of delicate guitar licks, dramatic string flourishes and a gorgeous keys melody to wrap around a particularly strong feature from Goya Gumbani, whose tentative but playful flow brings a dose of sunshine to counter YUNGMORPHUS’s dourness. That said, some of the beats feel like treading old ground. The rolling kick pattern and gently tumbling keys on "It’s Stuck Now" make it feel like what would come out if you put ‘low-fi and vaguely jazzy’ into an A.I. beat generator.

The record at its best mines a tension between these sumptuous, stately beats and an often lacerating frankness in the lyrics and delivery. Throughout there are preoccupations with disappointment, the failures of the rap industry and a society that doesn’t seem to improve. It’s a testament to his writing that he manages to infuse enough humour, and to have constant captivating flows, that the record doesn’t feel oppressive – it’s a style that could suffer in the EP format. There’s a lot to get through there, and the innate brevity of the form could mean we slip away before any sort of insight is reached. But, he gives enough of an idea before pulling away to leave you invested, asking questions you’ll have to work out yourself.

It’s a strong record, that over its brief run time sees real horror in the world, but finds a redemptive power in the beauty of its own beats. One that urges pushing forward through the mire of it all.

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