Review Summary: The beginning of something special...
Dua Saleh is an interesting woman to say the least. Born in Sudan, her first language was Arabic. Eventually she started to pick up English in Twin Cities, after having been in a refugee camp in Eritrea. To say she's had an interesting life is an understatement, and now she has graced us with an EP with five tracks that show us the weight of her presence, and the attitude she's rocking.
On the first track Sugar Mama, Saleh speaks about a neighbor with a "p**** melting like a glacier" and describes how being in power is everything in the world today. Psymun's production really shines here as Saleh makes an interesting melody work to the sound of a metronome. On the song Albany, Saleh gets to shine her singing ability with harmonized vocals that create a sort of a bubbly effect, juxtaposing pretty much the rest of the EP.
The song Warm Pants has a simple guitar riff and drums infused with synth backgrounds that give Saleh's vocals the chance to infuse with them quite nicely. Survival gives an almost soulful pop experience, something in the realm of a Mormor album. Saleh's brooding sing-rapping shows potential in that area as well, putting on display the range of possibilities with her talents. Finally, the album wraps with Kickflip, a pretty bouncy song that also showcases Saleh's rap-singing even better than Survival, as instead of the passages being brooding and longing, the passages here are straightforward, precise and to the point.
Saleh's sound is pretty consistent throughout the run time, being consistently airy and reverb heavy with stark drum beats complimenting her voice. These stark beats give Saleh the chance to tower over them, even though she didn't need to make them as simple as they are, due to her already having a commanding voice in her performances. All these elements of rap, pop, soul, and hip/hop come together to make an entertaining time for a newcomer to the game. Saleh delivers a treat of what's to come in her promising future, and I can't wait to see where the journey takes her.