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Non-Perishable settles it, it’s time to stop sleeping on Tobi Lou

"Non-Perishable"

Release date: 11 March 2022
9/10
Tobi lou np art
18 March 2022, 07:57 Written by Max Gayler
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Renowned hitmaker, habitual cryer in the club and notorious album teaser Tobi Lou paints a beautiful picture on his third album, Non-Perishable. After years of mysterious deadlines and cryptic communication, the Chicago native is able to offer a no-filler project that’s worth the wait.

Lou’s output has always been distinct compared to the rest of the industry. As daring visually as it is sonically, there’s something to be said about Lou's world creation. And much like people who crave the latest cinematic experience or multi-sensory sensation, fans of Lou have been itching to dive back into the colourful, soothing and bop-filled world of the Buff Baby himself.

His trajectory to Non-Perishable has been both a joy to observe and an absolute blue-balling to be a part of. His 2018 E.P, tobi lou and the Loop opens with the track 'The Name of My First Album is "Cult Classic”'. That record spawned “Buff Baby”, the song that put Lou’s style on the map and eventually turned into a huge Tik Tok hit. Later that year he released a mini album called tobi lou and the Juice, and then a 21-track mixtape in 2019 called Live On Ice. All these projects were enough to garner a league of devoted fans, fans that were promised an album somehow now called Perish Blue in October 2020.

Since then, Perish Blue has become an enigma. In its place we’ve seen a string of killer E.Ps and singles that were just enough to satiate a thirsty fanbase. Between constantly changing release dates and Lou’s seeming joy in teasing his fans, when it was revealed Non-Perishable would be the first of three albums, followed by Before We Perish and then Perish Blue – simply, it has a lot of expectations to live up to. But with the help of some niche beatmakers, Lou manages to pull off the impossible and deliver a no-skip album with excellent features from the likes of T-Pain, Jean Deaux and CHIKA.

Non-Perishable sounds like someone glitched up the Echo The Dolphin soundtrack and added blown out 808s. This makes the production soar throughout the ten-track album, leaving plenty of space for Lou to rap about whatever he wants, something he does unapologetically. From taking shots at virtue signaling (“2hrs+”) to looking like his auntie (“Hopeless Romantic”), Lou has always been the master at humorously encompassing life in its purest and most aesthetic form no matter how important or trivial.

A whole team of expertly curated producers were brought in to sprinkle their flavour into Non-Perishable. A highlight comes on a heavy beat-switch during “Hurry-Up Offense” where LEJKEYS and Matteo Woods partner up perfectly to take the vibe straight from Dre to Ye. While the blown out bass lines on opener “Hopeless Romantic” will undoubtedly send fans of Lou’s previous project, Live On Ice, into a frenzy. Whereas the acoustic-led closer “The Last Dance”, featuring a beautiful hook from CHIKA opens up an entirely different room of the album.

At 32 minutes, Non-Perishable makes for an album with plenty of repeat listen value. Heavy layers of production, bars upon bars to get lost in and a great use of space make this album a project worth listening to at a number of levels. If there’s more art of this calibre coming in Before We Perish and Perish Blu (if they’re even real), then Tobi Lou is an artist people can’t be caught sleeping on.

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