Published May 18, 2018Though he's more of a quiet force as bassist for the Internet, Patrick Paige II shares the gift of his voice on Letters of Irrelevance. On this confessional debut, Paige establishes himself as a talented lyricist who embraces simplicity: there are no complicated rhyme schemes or bouts of intricate wordplay, just honest and relatable musings.
He's pure and vulnerable as he grapples with his demons, from mourning his mother's death to reckoning with his alcohol abuse. And he sets his lyrics to a warm, mellow soundscape, emulating bass god Thundercat on tracks like "Ode to Inebriation" and recalling D'Angelo's gravelly whine on the standout "Voodoo."
There are a few missteps — "The Party Song (Do My Dance)," the compulsory party track, is fun enough but an unnecessary interruption to an otherwise emotional album. And guest star G Perico steals Paige's thunder on "Get It With My N****s." But there's more good than bad: "On My Mind / Charge It to the Game" is an endearing tribute to Paige's sister that shines in its sincerity, and "Silent Night," the haunting intro featuring vocals from Paige's late mother, is gripping and loaded with new meaning.
Overall, it's a solid solo effort whose highlights compensate for its minor bumps. (Independent)