Ravyn Lenae pairs with producer Steve Lacy on ‘Crush’ EP

Miles Parrish

Ravyn Lenae‘s third release is undoubtedly some of the best music to come out in the month of February.

Image result for ravyn lenae crush ep
Image Courtesy of Atlantic Records

Released on Feb. 9, “Crush” can be seen as an exhibition between the Chicago singer-songwriter’s R&B stylings and the guidance of Steve Lacy, a Grammy-nominated producer who worked on each of the five tracks on Lenae’s EP.

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The duo show incredible chemistry on this EP as Lenae’s voice rides beautifully overtop of Lacy’s funky, guitar-led production. Steve Lacy even features as a vocalist for a couple of the tracks on the EP, and adds to the feeling of those tracks just as much as he does with his production, and by that I mean a lot. 

On “Computer Luv” Lacy provides the necessary vocal addition to a song based on a story of two online lovers that have yet to see each other in person as he sings “When will I meet you, I’m down to see you, I wanna see you right now” in unison with Ravyn.

Each song on “Crush EP” dives into different aspects of relationships, and does so in a way that doesn’t feel done before. It is both fresh and highly accessible without risking the artistic effort involved to make room for that accessibility.

A highlight of the EP comes from “Sticky,” a song about a failing relationship that the two parties are trying to repair. Featuring one of the most contagious choruses in recent memory, “Sticky” brings an upbeat yet clearly distressed approach to its subject matter that blends wondrously.

Ravyn Lenae: 

Because “Crush EP” is only five songs and 16 minutes, there isn’t much of a problem with the overall consistency of quality. Although it is similar to a full album in terms of consistent concepts lyrically and production wise, those concepts become much more compartmentalized into each of the songs instead of bleeding into each other. There is a clear broad aspect of love or infatuation across each of the tracks and the projects title makes that even more evident. That being said, “Crush EP” is not something that you need to dive deep into in any aspect to understand; it is just a quick compilation of uniquely produced and well-sung love songs

Should you listen to it? Yes

While this project will not be anything of lasting effect for me, it definitely inclines me to look forward to Ravyn Lenae’s future endeavors, and that might just have been the intention. If it is, then it succeeded miraculously.

Collegian reporter Miles Parrish can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @parrishm20.