Kyle is finally here with his first debut album Light of Mine to fill everyone’s summer with SuperDuperHappinessandGoodVibes. Oh wait, this album is actually a deep dive into Kyle’s mind of alternating depression and girl problems. Well it’s definitely different than his other work and I was excited to listen. I have personally been a real big fan of Kyle for a few years after discovering his fire track “Keep It Real” off of his 2013 project titled Beautiful Loser and keeping it on replay for a few months. This continued with his very much overlooked 2015 project, Smyle which was exceptional and really showed that he has a lot of potential. However, Light of Mine shows an unfamiliar style of Kyle that took me by surprise. This newly released album is a great effort at looking into Kyle’s sad side, which is rarely seen or portrayed, while also providing a few summer hits despite it being clouded by an annoying concept with Lil Yachty.
The beginning track of this album titled “Ups & Downs” had me immediately intrigued, as Kyle did not seem SuperDuperJoyous. In fact, we learn that he has kind of been an emotional rollercoaster recently, ranging from depressive episodes to the happiness felt by obtaining a 4x Platinum record with “iSpy (feat. Lil Yachty). He makes it clear to his listeners that he will be addressing his internal issues, which he has done very few times in the past. One of his most introspective and thoughtful tracks was 2015’s “Wait on Me”, which also happens to be one of my favorite songs by Kyle, making me very excited for what Light of Mine has in store.
“2016 hit me like a bag o’ bricks (yup)
2017 switched up, like ooh it’s lit (it’s lit!)
I nearly had a mental breakdown
And eight months later had a hit (yup)
I guess life is like box a chocolates, huh
You never know what you finna get”
The first half of the album is fantastic, with Zoom, Ikuyo and Games all grabbing my attention. “Zoom” is an effort by Kyle of recognizing his issues, while not really letting them control him, since it will all be okay (a belief that is definitely recurring throughout his whole discography). However, he warns his audience to approach their 20’s with caution, since it can be easy to lose yourself during this age. Fuck, I’m almost 20. “Ikuyo (feat. 2 Chainz & Sophia Black)” is an upbeat Japanese inspired song about flexing on haters, with a 2 Chainz feature…definitely a necessity these days, and it definitely bumps. “Games” goes so hard with the production, and is really reminiscent to his previous work, specifically a track called “Sex & Super Smash Bros.” on his 2013 project Beautiful Loser. I love it.
However, the middle portion of this album gets a little too corny, despite pseudo-cringe being Kyle’s charm and specialty. Lil Yachty’s constant interruption as Kyle’s “subconscious” gets very annoying, and should have been reserved for iSpy alone. I wanted to jump off of a lil boat and drown myself because of this concept by the end of the project..and it certainly isn’t original either. The album quickly turns from a very interesting concept of artist introspection, to an admittedly soothing but dull collection of songs about love. Girls can be heartbreaking and cause all kinds of internal problems no doubt, but I would have appreciated it if these issues didn’t take up half of the album, as if that is all that Kyle’s energy source revolves around. Part of me also recognizes that this R&B style might be the niche or genre that Kyle is trying to identify with as he matures as an artist, which certainly could tickle a lot of peoples peaches.
Unfortunately, this is my least favorite Kyle project. It is not bad by any means, in fact, it is good, but it becomes a little mainstream and unrecognizable as the project progresses. I deeply respect the amount of courage it took Kyle to dive into his inner demons and create this honestly. A great project to listen to if you have just lost a relationship and your brain, are overwhelmed by immense fame or can listen to Lil Yachty playing the role of God for an hour. I will definitely put a few of these tracks on my playlist and be listening to them for the first few weeks of summer.