Chicago is home to so many brilliant artists that it becomes hard to keep count, yet not many shine as bright as R&B singer Rayvn Lenae. Following the success of her 2018 EP “Crush,” she has now come up with a full 16-track album titled “Hypnos.”
This album was easy to digest which is far from a bad thing. Many times, artists overload their albums with too many tracks, features, or just try too hard; however, “Hypnos” sounds authentic, and Ravyn not only sticks to what she knows but builds off it too.
Her soft vocals are never overpowered and the beat selection is unique compared to many albums that have been released this year.
In addition, this album sounds futuristic, which works perfectly with the aesthetic that she and her team cultivated. One of the best examples is in the beginning with “Cameos,” where the bass felt as if it belonged in a sci-fi movie. In other tracks like "Venom,” produced by Chicago’s own Monte Booker and Phoelix, the music is upbeat and paired with a techno beat that feels extraterrestrial.
This album takes a totally different path than most of the R&B albums of the past few years. As many do the casual, slow tempo, and trap-influenced production, this is a refreshing take. Ravyn’s “Hypnos” LP is eccentric, makes you move, and displays true vocal power.
There were no large issues with this album, only small details if someone truly wanted to nitpick.
The project was extremely fluid and transitioned from one song to another smoothly. This being said, not all the songs popped out or distinguished themselves from the others as much as you would want.
Also, while choosing “Skin Tight” as a single was a good choice as it is an amazing song, I feel it would have done the project better if listeners didn’t come into the album already knowing the song, giving it some shock value.
The features were great as well and did fit the mold of the album. They also did not stand out, which can be seen as a good thing.
You really could not want anything else from Ravyn Lenae on this project. She made the correct choice of working with fellow Chicago artists while also connecting with other talented creators that fit her style.
When speaking with L'Officiel Magazine in 2018, she spoke of being influenced by artists such as Outkast. I can see a love of albums like “ATliens” and “Aquemini,” as their confidence to experiment inspires this album.
This project checked all the boxes that I, as a fan, asked of her and I felt like I journeyed with her the entire time. This is a great addition to her discography while also having a different flavor than “Moon Shoes” or “Crush.”
This album is hard to rate as it is more than exceptional but could somehow get lost in the noise in this busy year of music. I would give it a 7.5 to 8 out of 10.