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ZEL

WE REVIEW THE NEW ALBUM FROM ZEL? – MODE DE VIE.

Maryland-based artist Zel? is back with his first release of the year and it is no other than a full-length album. The ten-track opus, “Mode de vie.”, showcases his undeniable versatility as a rapper and singer. Zel? draws inspiration from artists as diverse as Prince, Frank Ocean, and Pharrell. With this new release, he invites us on a musical journey that blends elements of R&B, hip hop, indie rock, punk, and pop, all while maintaining a cohesive sound.

The album kicks off with “They Askin”, a track with a mesmerizing intro perfect to start the listening session. The haunting harmonies in the background create an ethereal atmosphere that draws us in from the very first note. Despite the use of autotune, which is not usually my taste, Zel? masterfully incorporates it into his sound, enhancing his voice rather than distorting it. With its blend of R&B vibes and soft rap, “They Askin” serves as a perfect introduction to Zel?’s universe.

As the album progresses, Zel? shifts gears with tracks like “I’m The One”, where he shows a more aggressive and powerful flow. The contrast between the subtle vibes of “They Askin” and the intensity of “I’m The One” highlights Zel?’s ability to display different sides of his artistry in one album.

One of the standout tracks on “Mode de vie.” is “Lucid Activities” where Zel? shines not only as a lyricist but also as a producer. The quality of the beat is another level of work with a plethora of elements and textures juxtaposed to create something unique. To complement the beat, Zel?’s voice takes on a deeper tone here.

A few tracks later, the album ends with “2AM in Paris”. This introspective track makes us wish we were in Paris at 2 am to think about our life and what’s coming next. It’s a good way to end this album, with endless possibilities and a sense of contemplation.

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