Over recent years, 24-year-old R&B artist Brent Faiyaz (Christopher Brent Wood) has been making waves in the music industry with his unique voice and approach to R&B.
Beginning his musical career releasing songs on SoundCloud with his former trio Sonder, Brent released a six-track “Lost” EP in 2018. Since then, fans have been eagerly awaiting a sophomore project from the artist that was set to release Feb. 7, 2020.
“F*** The World” features ten songs with no features and is a steady build-up of previous single releases such as “Rehab (Winter in Paris)” and “F*** the World (Summer in London),” both popular singles that fans raved about.
The opening song on the album, titled “Skyline,” is a brief two-minute song where the Faiyaz speaks about being conscious of one’s actions and how their energy affects those around them. “Skyline” is a beautiful arrangement where he opens with the question “do you know what makes this world go round?” that instantly captures the ears of the audience in a way that makes them think deeper about life and the relationships they may currently be a part of. As well as having an angelic falsetto, there is some harmonization in the background that reminds listeners of old-style R&B, a good change of pace compared to recent R&B releases that stray from traditional harmonies and minimal production. While “Skyline” is only two minutes and eight seconds, it nonetheless stands to be one of the best songs on the album both sound and lyric-wise and seems to cleanse listeners of things they may have done wrong.
In “Clouded” Faiyaz speaks about his obsession with how he will be remembered and his impact on those around him. At the beginning of the song, Faiyaz opens with “I gave it all for a fantasy/is anybody gon’ remember me?” exposing the part of him that wonders about his future legacy after giving up living a normal life to sing. He then speaks about the ridiculous amount of money he has spent on material things to get girls’ attention before saying that “your judgment get clouded when you clouded” addressing the other side of issues Faiyaz faces internally such the mistakes he has made. He does not come across as boastful of what he has, instead, he is merely describing his experiences while warning listeners about the price of fame. Faiyaz concludes “Clouded” with the final lyrics “Her [dude] wanna be me/but they don’t know I’m fightin’ demons/I feel like dyin’ every season/I’ve been swimmin’ in the deep end” further addressing the front that Faiyaz describes putting on every day. While this mention of depression symptoms are brief, as the closing lyrics, Faiyaz is able to leave a lasting message on listeners as he speaks about a topic that is not easy for everyone to discuss: fame and fortune come at a cost that is sometimes too detrimental to some. Leaving the audience with an important question “is all this time, money and effort we spend worth the approval of people who will not matter further down the line?”
“Let Me Know” is the fifth track of the album and Faiyaz contemplates who he is allowed to love if he cannot love himself. In modern-day society, there are many negative connotations that may come along with loving yourself such as the label of arrogance that is received for confidence and self-assurance. In this powerful narrative, Faiyaz pleads to be told who he is truly allowed to love and asking “who can you love when they tell you can’t love yourself?” and then continues to question the world asking “why do we hurt one another? Fight our brother, kill and rape? Love can trump it all.” Faiyaz reveals a deeper meaning to his music as he shows how aware he is on the glaring eye of society while singing that being able to look in the mirror and love yourself is what everyone should learn how to do instead of hurting others, one of the strongest messages on the album.
In “Bluffin,” Faiyaz is faced with the conundrum of pride that is common in modern-day relationships. With lyrics like “either you’re bluffin’ or you just don’t care/ you could be bluffin’ or I could mean nothin’ at all/either there’s somethin’ or there’s nothing there,” Faiyaz goes into an almost endless cycle that is seen in most relationships between the youth as in today’s world it is hard to know what exactly someone is feeling. This toxic pattern is one of the things that have led to the writing of most R&B music and Faiyaz takes the topic in his own way. The effects of this toxicity are seen to take a toll on Faiyaz like many others in modern society as his voice shakes and his pitch switches from alto to falsetto consistently, representing the physical and mental effects such a relationship can have.
The entirety of the album is only 26 minutes, however; it is 26 minutes full of beauty and true, raw emotion that resonates with the audience. Faiyaz seems to hold nothing back in this album as he even exposes the toxic personality he can have at times, however; it also shows the deeper level to Faiyaz that is behind a hard covering. While Faiyaz’ voice is soothing and beautiful to listen to, his lyrics often show toxicity that many encounters in romantic encounters or in the pursuit of fame. In some cases, this can come across as repetitive and annoying, but with the approach, Faiyaz takes it is minimal and is not too overwhelming. The album resonates with the audience with the minimal production and beautiful choruses that paint pictures for those who listen to the project.
Overall, “F*** the World” is a beautiful mix of lyrics and vocal ability that compliments Faiyaz’ growth and development. It covers many popular yet difficult topics in society such as toxic relationships, drugs and mental illness that are portrayed in a fresh way. While the album was brief, it was still well-rounded with both lyrics and vocals and stayed true to the roots that Faiyaz showed in his debut projects. An album with an unforgettable adrenaline rush of honesty and openness, it receives an 8 out of 10 stars. “F*** the World” is available everywhere now and is available to be streamed on streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.