Album review: is crooning an art form if my emotions are behind it?

Youthful melancholy and sugary beats result in a apt combination in Waiting Unsaved's newest album

Four out of five students agree crooning is not an art form. However, science is not consensus. If it were, we’d still believe that the Earth is the centre of the universe or that do-it-yourself hip-hop isn’t a viable and authentic genre in the midst of a post-SoundCloud boom.

For instance, take Vancouver rapper and producer Waiting Unsaved. His SoundCloud is sparsely populated by only a mere two songs, one of which was uploaded over two years ago. Yet he has just dropped an original and engaging EP on Bandcamp.

He blends together the pained autotuned croonings of other emo rap contemporaries with cutesy but sensible RnB beats. To lump him in with prominent emo rap of the day may seem appealing, but it’s not accurate. Even calling this a hip-hop or rap album seems unfounded. While there is the occasional rap verse throughout the release, the rapping is hardly the selling point.

Waiting Unsaved’s music is visceral, sad and emotional but on the surface bubbly and cute. The composition and utilization of vocal tracks paint a melancholic portrait, but the choices in instruments, predominantly organ, piano and plucky lighthearted synthesizer coalesce to give the impression of a blissful soundscape.

The second track on the release, After Forever! Is an excellent case study of the style Waiting Unsaved brings to the table. Instrumentally the track is characterized by twinkly arpeggios, 808 hits and ethereal vocal layers. There’s nothing sad about the instrumental— in fact it’s quite the opposite. It’s the lyrics that draw out the sadness of the track. Even the chorus, “tell me tell me tell me/why you feeling so alone now/tell me tell me tell me/are you holding up” is delivered with such an optimistic affectation it can’t possibly be emblematic of the lyrical content Waiting Unsaved softly inquires.

It’s a sad release insofar as the lyrical content should prompt you to feel, however that’s not what’s the primary display here. Throughout the release Waiting Unsaved delivers his woeful wording in a variety of different ways, all of which obscure what he’s actually preaching.

In the dichotomy of verbiage and arrangement, Waiting Unsaved triumphs with the latter. His production is concise and original, the only drawback being the apprehension of further exploration, particularly on the closing track, I Should Just Let You Know. Waiting Unsaved clearly has an intuitive sense for production and this short EP is a great teaser for what he will release in the future.

7.2/10 – Free samples of gelato