If you were following us back in August 2022, the name rodeoboy will definitely stick in your mind. Clad in technicolour artwork and delivering a maelstrom of psychedelic trap sounds, rodeoboy arrived with a bang, firing on all cylinders with ‘Welcome to the Trip’, and teasing us all with news of his debut record. It’s been a long wait since then, but now, ‘FINALLY BETTER’ is here.
Delivering eleven tracks, including the previous single, rodeoboy’s debut album is a kaleidoscopic trap journey, one that takes lead from more familiar sounds, and then twists them around a free-wheeling, imaginative, and uncompromising new form. Opening with ‘!HUKSZTUKI!’, rodeoboy leaves nothing to chance, lashing out with a fierce vocal track that is buoyed by caustic trap sounds. It’s an opening track designed to capture your attention and leave you off-kilter, and ‘!HUKSZTUKI!’ does that to perfection.
As the album continues, rodeoboy stitches more audio snippets into his songs and plays around with a sharp range of beats, but it’s the raw vocals and absolute tenacity that always hold focus, with the artist stepping into the spotlight and steamrolling every bar. The vocals are sharp and consistent, drawing power from their repetition, and taking focus every time. In cuts like ‘flesh!’ and ’HOTBOXDRAMEN’ and ‘JA MORANT’, there are sparks of animalistic brilliance, but it’s rodeoboy’s more collaborative tracks that really get you going.
Joined by Will Written in ’30 for 30’ and Dedre in ‘POPIT’, rodeoboy’s artistry feels elevated, lifting the more unkempt and devastating style to a new level, where he’s not afraid to change things up. Both tracks land as refreshing changes of pace within the album, allowing the listener to breathe and setting you up for more to come. There’s no denying the power behind the album, particularly when it comes to the titanic sway of the final three cuts, but understandably, it’s not always the most accessible piece, taking a few listens to really develop a connection and begin to feel the more expressive and often cathartic nuances hidden beneath the passion.
Speaking about the release of the album on his Instagram page, rodeoboy said that he “challenged myself to do it 6 months ago”, and so it’s a shame that the more emotional and personal aspects are sometimes buried in the raw strength of rodeoboy’s sound, but maybe, when you’re carving out a legacy, there’s no room for feint-hearts.
While the previous single and closing track gave us a glimpse of what was to come, ‘FINALLY BETTER’ still hits with fierce, fresh, and unmistakable energy, catapulting rodeoboy to the very front of his own scene. Built to impress, the album is a testament to the artist, and he should be damn proud of having it out in the wild.
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