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Steve Lacy further establishes his driven talent with Gemini Rights

"Gemini Rights"

Release date: 15 July 2022
Steve Lacy Gemini Rights
15 July 2022, 07:48 Written by Sam Eeckhout
By the time Steve Lacy released his debut solo album at age 21, he already had a Grammy nomination to his name from three years earlier.

The album, Apollo XXI, was refreshing and took him from a talented producer who worked on tracks with Kali Uchis, Mac Miller, and more, to his own individual artist. And while that album teased his talents - it wasn’t quite ripe yet; a little too unfocused.

With Gemini Rights, Lacy has built a clearer path to keep the core of his efforts from getting lost. Although his own creative talents take him out of bounds at times - it’s a step forward for the Compton-born artist, mixing thoughtful and raw lyrics with fun, stripped-back R&B and neo-funk instrumentation.

At its heart, Gemini Rights is about how confusing relationships are, how love takes effort, and how equal investment is required from both sides – namely being in 100%.

The album is an open-faced sandwich, with Lacy combining bare guitar hooks with straightforward and admirably sensitive lyrics. Right off the bat, opener “Static” proclaims to the listener, “I’m looking for a bitch / cause I’m over boys.” And with that, we’re off - navigating the complex emotions that come with the ebbs and flows of power dynamics in relationships and sexuality.

The music is at its best when the songs are tight and not off wandering. Singles “Helmet” and “Mercury” are instantly likable sunshine earworms sticking to conventional songwriting structure. These songs might sometimes settle, ignoring the itch to dig deeper - but Gemini Rights falters when Lacy loses his own momentum by exploring territory that never needed to be found. The path he built is sometimes no match for his own creative curiosity, demonstrated on the drumless “Cody Freestyle” or the rotund finale, “Give You the World.”

Ultimately, it’s the vocals of Lacy that undeniably carry the album. He has an effortless weight to his delivery, whether testing his falsetto range on “Amber” or pushing the pace with the powerful “Bad Habit.” His performance is compelling, bolstered by an unwavering commitment to vulnerability and sheer honesty.

With his sophomore album, Lacy has established a few things. He’s talented, driven, and able to connect and resonate with his listeners. He hasn’t harnessed the full power of his ability yet, but as he continues to pave a path in front of him, his Gemini star will shine brightly when he does.

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