Ryan Hemsworth Guilt Trips

Ryan Hemsworth Guilt Trips
8
Guilt Trips is a surprising album, in a number of ways. Gone, for one, are the R&B leanings of his DJ mixes and EPs like Kitsch Genius and Last Words, in their place a beguiling mix of Hemsworth new and old. He remains fascinated by the bubbly, 16-bit marimbas and sparkling synths of Super Nintendo-era videogames, but has eschewed crowd-pleasing anthems in favour of something more personal, meaning the more ethereal, emotive Guilt Trips works as well in headphones as on club speakers. Surprising, too, is the album's deceptive depth; it's immediately likable, but continues to yield surprises even on the tenth listen and beyond. Moments like the breakdown two-thirds into "Weird Life" or the understated brass accompaniment on "Yaeko Mitamura is Lonely" demonstrate Hemsworth's continued attention to detail, while "Day/Night/Sleep System," featuring Haleek Maul and Kitty, marks a slight return to, and fine-tuning of, his penchant for crafting emotive cloud-rap. Guilt Trips is as unclassifiable as it is dazzling, a fine debut from an artist who continues to progress. (Last Gang)