Luke Christopher, ‘YSTRDY’ & ‘TMRW’ [REVIEW]
Luke Christopher stands tall with a solid body of work as he peers into the future of his career, similar to the cover art of his two new EPs, YSTRDY and TRMW.
YSTRDY and TMRW features the Los Angeles native doing what he does best: effortlessly switching between singing and rapping over cinematic production (yes, he also produces). Love, life and finding inspiration are at the core of the 12 self-produced soulful tracks.
After releasing four mixtapes (Building Skies, TMRW TMRW, The Wonder Years Pt. 1 and TMRW TMRW Pt. II), Christopher delivers a stellar 49-minute collective EP that sounds like a sum of John Legend, Blu, old Kanye West and J. Cole -- all without losing his original sound. Luke has worked with Legend before and has cited Kanye West's The College Dropout as the album that made him think he could be a rapper. With such an impressive repertoire, it's no wonder TMRW reached No. 36 on the iTunes Hip Hop/R&B charts within its first week of release and YSTRDY's "They Know" earned the No. 13 spot on Spotify's global chart.
YSTRDY, which features remastered versions of his previously released songs, relies on an old school vibe by drawing inspiration from doo-wop, '80s synth pop and soul. The EP starts off with "Never Been," an ode to a love interest he promises to take to places she's "never ever been," over a smooth bluesy beat. But before it drops, Luke starts it off with a very fitting first line: "Yeah, I'm ready." His creativity seeps through this track as well as it plays with sounds and breaks. "Voice that's lovelier than the birds / Have a cool n---- stopping in the middle of his wor-," he raps before he carries out the action of his rhyme.
"This Old World" proves to be another favorite as the rapper speaks on life as a musician and how music brings his world to life since "every time a song starts playin'" his "whole world starts rearrangin'" making his "day turn colors." He later boasts that he can prove it if you lend him one of your "headphone buds."
On "Roll With Me," the synths evoke memories from the '80s. The standout track brings a different sound to the EP, but the theme of love and wonder fit right in, as he tells a girl he meets at a party to "roll with me." He also delivers some knee-weakening lines like, "We could find a dance floor in the middle of nowhere" and "I don't mean to be rude, but how could anybody forget you."
His second effort, TMRW, proves that sometimes you have to bring a bit of the past into the future, as it modernizes '30s-style jazz with piano medleys and drum snares on the first track, "Roses." It's similar to "No Greater Love," a tune from another California-bred rapper, Blu, off his highly acclaimed debut album, Exile, Below the Heavens.
The second EP, also includes a previously released single that wasn't attached to a project before. "They Know" is the only song with a feature on the two projects. Luke's RCA Records labelmate, Treasure Davis, takes the honor. The two sing on overcoming insecurities in their relationship as they reassure each other that there's "nothing they could do 'cause they know I f--- with you." The West Coast native even cites Big Pun's catchy hook with "I don't wanna be a playa no more."
"Atlas" is must-listen for hip-hop and experimental fans. It takes on a more serious tone as he speaks on materialism and the end of the world since "Atlas is dropping the world tonight." The head-bopping beat evokes introspection as Christopher both sings and raps over slow drums, haunting voices and strings. However, the playboy can't help bringing this song back to love too. "But as soon as that sky has fallen / I'll be the first to drop down to my knees / And see if there's something more than you and me," he croons.
The EP takes an upbeat turn as it ends with a fitting track, "Lots to Learn." Luke poses several rhetorical questions like "If I was the music, would you be the dancer?" and "If I was the sinner, would you be the preacher?" On the song, he admits that he still has a lot to learn. With these two solid offerings under his belt, it's apparent the best from Luke Christopher is yet to come.
Listen to Luke Christopher's YSTRDY EP
Listen to Luke Christopher's TMRW EP
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