JOYRYDE refuses to settle for anything less than the best on BRAVE, his debut album packed with raw emotion and captivating sounds.
For the past two years, we’ve patiently waited for JOYRYDE to finish his masterpiece. As he released singles like “IM GONE,” “MADDEN,” and “SELECTA 19,” fans we’re collectively chomping at the bits for the debut album. Well, the day is here. BRAVE is officially out and available for the world to hear.
The album is packed with 18 dynamic tracks with a variety of colorful collaborations and musical gems. JOYRYDE opens with “PRE OP,” an interlude that instantly puts us in his shoes back in 2018 after he had back surgery for a slipped disk. As a result, it presented him with a number of unexpected challenges in life that he’s opened up about on social media.
As the surgeon counts down, we go under and phase into “ON FIRE,” a track with heavy distortion, tropical percussion, and a harmonious choir that carries you into the rest of the story. So with that in mind, press play on the album below and keep reading to get my take on this stunner from JOYRYDE!
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“ON FIRE” is heavy and loud and feels chaotic at times.
As the vocals of the choir rise in unison, goosebumps appear on the skin as everything seamlessly blends together when in fact it shouldn’t. The second half of “ON FIRE” is pure… well… fire. The heaviness proceeds but the vocals of the choir bring a sense of calm and balance to the chaos of the track. This is the starting point of experiencing the raw emotion packed within the album.
Before JOYRYDE reveals more emotion though, we linger into a handful of the impressive collaborations.
There are a total of seven features on the album. Every collab possesses its own identity and vibe. We’re all familiar with the track “YUCK” featuring GOLD and “DAMN” featuring Freddie Gibbs. But there are two collaborations that caught my attention from the very first listen, “GOT REAL” featuring Mika Means and “THRILL” featuring MAJILLA.
The uniqueness of Mika Means flow is captivating and compliments the midtempo melody beautifully. The drop is groovy and fun. Whereas “THRILL” is dark and more seductive. MAJILLA steals the spotlight with her lyrics, and the breakdowns are smooth and rhythmic.
“FAIL ME” is the next standout, primarily for its message.
The track starts off with a man sharing the definition of failure, “a lack of success.” Instantly, the synths slowly rise. The horns blare and we’re in the midst of melodic percussion and mesmerizing buildups. The melody is groovy and possesses that signature JOYRYDE sound.
Towards the middle of the track, we hear a message about failure which is something everyone can connect with and relate to.
We’ve all felt the heavy burden of failure, but there’s light in the darkness. The man then shares this message, “if you’re moving forward, you are not failing, you can not be working toward something and failing at the same time, it is impossible,” and the entire tone shifts. It feels as if the melody reaches an epiphany, a realization that failure isn’t an option, and with that, we transition right back into that melodic percussion and chord progression.
“FAIL ME” is a perfect example of JOYRYDE telling his story through music. He’s exposing his experience of creating BRAVE, the feelings he felt, and the adversity he faced. Honestly, that alone speaks volumes and left a lingering impression.
“BROOKLYN” is my personal favorite track off the album.
It’s upbeat, high tempo, and full of energy. The track possesses intensity, the kind of intensity that makes you want to dance. The buildup is nostalgic and intimate and unique to the melody. The relationship between the high and lows of the song is indescribable, but JOYRYDE messes around with this dynamic a bit on the album and it works. Hands down this track is a banger and I will probably lose it when I’m able to hear it live.
“4AM” and “RTTB” are additional bangers that show off his range as an artist.
In “4AM” we experience a hypnotizing melody with an eclectic variety of sounds that compliment the melody. “RTTB” is a banger that takes you on a ride. It has moments of feeling grimy, filthy even, until that melodic drop. The drop is warped, turbulent, and harmonious. An odd pairing of adjectives but the best combination of words to describe the song.
Needless to say, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what BRAVE offers.
There are so many tracks with a variety of sounds and identities and it was difficult to pick tracks to highlight. The more I listen to the album, the more I fall in love with it. For what it’s worth, this is similar to the experience I had with ANTI by Rihanna. Certain tracks will stand out based on your mood and that’s a testament to the album’s range, the quality that JOYRYDE invested.
The more you revisit the album, the more you’ll connect with different songs from the previous listen. I’ll end on this note, BRAVE was worth the wait. Congratulations JOYRYDE! You did the damn thing.
JOYRYDE – BRAVE – Tracklist:
- PRE OP — (0:43)
- ON FIRE — (3:24)
- GOT REAL (feat. Mika Means) — (4:32)
- I SLAY (feat. Nolay) —(3:17)
- FAIL ME — (5:11)
- THRILL (feat. MAJILLA) — (3:38)
- FOCUS (feat. Fze) — (4:05)
- ARTERIES (feat. Youngs Teflon) — (3:24)
- IM GONE — (4:46)
- BROOKLYN — (4:42)
- MADDEN — (3:47)
- 4AM — (4:29)
- RTTB — (3:33)
- SELECTA 19 — (4:10)
- MILK (feat. Fze) — (2:24)
- YARDIE — (3:12)
- YUCK (feat. Gold) — (3:00)
- DAMN (feat. Freddie Gibs) —(3:41)