by Thomas Bedward December 20, 2020
When Cam Be first surfaced on the music scene with the release of his debut album ‘7 Steps to 7’, he instantly became one of 2018’s most vibrant and hotly anticipated new artists. A film director, photographer, DJ, producer, and blossoming musician, ‘7 Steps to 7’ was a perfect introduction to his expansive and wonderfully collaborative style, and now, just two short years later, he’s back in the spotlight and continuing to impress with the release of his second record, ‘Summer in September’.
An impressive follow-up release and a true spiritual successor to his debut album, ‘Summer in September’ sees Cam Be continuing to build upon his limitless sound and style, bringing together a strong ensemble of Chicago based artists and musicians to create ten intricate, entertaining, and deeply emotive new songs that celebrate Black American life. Infused with the timeless sounds of funk, soul, and hip-hop, the new album is a sharp, symphonic blend of classic sounds and modern energy, creating an immersive and inescapable journey deep into Cam Be’s shifting creative world.
An album that is meant to be felt just as much as it’s meant to be enjoyed, ‘Summer in September’ is a rich and wonderfully diverse melting pot of sounds, styles, and voices, one that is unafraid to bare its soul or ask the listener to do the same. Opening with ‘Fade Away’, Cam Be launches into a textured ode to Black cinema, layering smooth jazz sounds with lush basslines and a deft brass sounds that shine through his sharp melodic flow. A stellar opening track, it’s made all the more impressive by its music video which marries the track with a montage of iconic cinematic moments. Moving forward, second cut ‘LEAD’ introduces Yaw and THISISSHEBA perfectly, while ‘Cookin’ and ‘Keep It Moving’ continue to build with soulful bounce and an enduring soul.
One of the album’s true highlight, ‘Right Now’ hits with some sharp features from Neak and Sam Trump, with both artists playing their parts perfectly. An irresistible track, ‘Right Now’ is an electrifying twist on some heartfelt soul sounds, carving a brave new path that shines with rhythmic beats and raw, poetic lyrics that will inspire anyone lucky enough to hear them. In the latter half of the album, the magic keeps on flowing with ‘Lately’ delivering a brilliant duet between Cam Be and Natalie Oliveri, while the title track closes the album with one of the most impressive and satisfying final numbers that you’ll find on any album this year.
While it might be easy to pigeon-hole the album as another eclectic hip-hop release, ‘Summer in September’ is far more than that. A rich and fearless release, the album sees Cam Be seamlessly blending genres and creating sharp cinematic touches, establishing a bittersweet sound that revels in some truly timeless qualities. Filled to the brim with enduring melodies, smooth rhythmic beats, and perfectly polished production, it’s easily one of the most expressive and important hip-hop releases of the year.
You can stream all ten brilliant tracks from ‘Summer in September’ above, and be sure to check out ‘Right Now’ on our annual Spotify playlist. Plus, make sure you follow Cam Be on his social media pages below, so you never miss a new release.
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