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[Album review] Dean’s first LP is deliciously brooding


Dean
"130 Mood: TRBL"
(Joombas and Universal Music)

Dean is receiving the coveted attention of international artists such as Anderson Paak and Jeff Bernat and local hip-hop big names including Dynamic Duo, Zico and Crush, and there seems to be a legitimate reason behind the singer-songwriter’s emergence. Though his sound represents the height of trendiness, it is still deliciously brooding, full of soul. The largely electronic R&B sounds featured on this first LP are sleek and sophisticatedly layered but never pristine, always brimming with emotion and vulnerability.

The album, titled “130 Mood: TRBL” is just that -- troubled and moody, in the best way.

The first track “D (Half Moon)” sings of the emptiness that takes over after parting with a lover, with the letter “D” depicting the shape of an incomplete half-moon. Dean’s rich vocals adapt and change for each song, seeping into the ambience: Here, it is breathy and longing, artfully surfing on the twists and turns in the track’s chord arrangement. Songs like “Pour Up” express the dissipation that follows a heartache, while “Bonnie & Clyde” sings of a delirious, all-consuming love.

(doo@heraldcorp.com)

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