Album Review: Shaprece Brings Avant-Garde To R&B In “Coals”

Avant-Garde and R&B are not usually associated together, but Shaprece has managed to bring abstract fashion to the heartfelt genre. Through synthetic, mystifying keys her songs feel like abstract pieces of cloth that dress upon your soul to make it feel a bit richer. The resulting effect is powerful, and turns something like Coals into diamonds. 

With her biggest inspirations being Bjork and James Blake, you understand how Shaprece turns the  soul of R&B and spins a web of eclectic sounds and images over it. In songs like, “Carry You” and “Unwind”, the songstress uses repetitive hooks and flowing melodies to capture the hypnotizing nature of love’s desire. In other songs like, “Dropping Feathers” “Remember” and “Wake Up Melting Snow” listeners will be fascinated by their ability to bring surrealism to universal, raw feelings like longing and lust. She takes R&B’s basic, virtuous foundations, love, and turns it into an art display, where she will use every music material/ inspiration, both in machine and flesh, to show the nuances of this eternal sentiment. Through Coals Shaprece reminds listeners of the forever feeling that love can give by matching a downtempo bass with ethereal, resounding keys. The combination gives Shaprece the opportunity to not only spin R&B as a genre and musical presentation, but also spin listeners into their own thoughts on such presentations of love and sound.

I love daring artists that challenge listeners to step outside of their perceptions of their inner and outer workings, which is what Shaprece does. She uses music’s psychedelic/ mindful capacities to make listeners take a journey into their hearts, ears, and minds, which is, technically, what R&B is all about.  It takes a bold talent to try to revamp a genre that is avidly protected because not many musics can strike the soul quite like it. On confidence alone, Shaprece should be applauded for thinking and succeeding in giving her own edge to a beloved style of music. Yet, she does not veer to off from R&B’s essence, because her supernatural/ artful rhythms do not overpower the vulnerability of her voice.

R&B was birthed by vulnerable spirit. It songs of romance and heartache are acclaimed not simply for the bouncing beats that back its themes, but for the acclaimed, powerhouse voices that now  stand as timeless beacons to love’s prowess over humanity. Where would Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Beyonce be if R&B did not exist as a genre to exude their brilliance. Thus, what Shaprece has done through Coals is add her own brilliance to R&B, and use the genre as display for her genius. By giving her heartfelt vocals an avant-garde backing, she musters the “wormhole” effect of love in that no other sentiment can suck you in and make you lost in its cosmic force quite like it. Hence, her delicately soft vocals sound like your voice when you have been overpowered by the strongest feeling ever: love.To Buy Coals on November 4 and To Learn More About Shaprece Click Here.