Bas - 'Milky Way' Album Review
Bas ascends yet again with this visit to the 'Milky Way', crafting this light-hearted, extremely enjoyable body of work.
Replay Value8.2
8.2Overall Score
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Dreamville‘s own and longtime friend of the label head J.Cole, Bas has dropped his third studio album ‘Milky Way‘. Bas, as well as much of the Dreamville roster, despite the overflowing wealth of quality these artists possess (look at Cozz‘s ‘Effected‘ album earlier this year, recent addition Earthgang and conscious wordsmith Omen as examples), have in many eyes or unless you’re actually turned on to them been living under Cole and had their moves effectively overshadowed by the ‘KOD‘ rapper. It appears now though, with the arrival of ‘Milky Way‘, that Bas is deservedly in a position of garnering a lot of his own sole attention. For anyone in the know, they will have been bumping Bas‘ first and second albums ‘Last Winter‘ and ‘Too High To Riot‘ being fully aware of the talent in the mind of the Fiend himself.

To give an idea of how Bas is feeling and a little insight to how the album was approached, he offered this on an instagram post on the day of the albums release:

We put out albums, our truths, in hopes the public will love them and catapult us to great successes. 
We hope our labels will love how the singles perform. 
We conquer as many women as we can as if it’ll make us love ourselves. Instead of finding one that who shows you the man you could be. 
We share only the good parts of our lives on social media. In hopes of making people fall in love with us. One like at a time.

This album is about finding ground. About not poisoning your own well. About finding and tethering yourself to the love that truly fulfills you. Love of self. Love of others. Lovers. Family. Friends. Fans. You’ve all given me all the affirmation I’ll ever need. 
That is the Milky Way. The only way to go.

As the title suggests, ‘Milky Way‘ is a smooth ride with lots of dreamy vibes. A pleasant listen all the way through, with various paces that interweave in a suave fashion – the project feels like donning a paisley silk dressing robe while you sip some ice cold orange juice on a luxurious balcony looking out on an outstanding view with the sun gleaming down, as you humbly count your blessings. As Bas himself speaks of the album; it can be understood as a parable of trials and tribulations, leading to realisations and self-truths.

The growth that Bas has displayed has been an evident factor with each release of his and ‘Milky Way‘ serves to continue this. One thing that has remained a signature of Bas‘ vocal efforts is his penchant for delivering quickfire spitting while retaining an audibly enticing clarity of diction. ‘Milky Way‘ exhibits many of his various vocal paces, at such laid-back ease. You never feel like Bas‘ is ever stretching himself too far to squeeze that last bar in during the quicker moments – like on standout track ‘Tribe‘ (featuring an excellent J.Cole verse) where he’s almost racing the pacy beat – or alternatively ‘Designer‘ where his cadence relaxes a bit yet is not lazy and fits the beat it rides comfortably. Also a centerpiece of Bas‘ music is his meaningful, and largely conscious lyrics – he can paint some illusive imagery and offer obtuse observations that are often associated with revered writers, yet Bas does this while still appearing relatable, and to a tone of humour poking.

Purge‘ serves as a great example of Bas‘ extremely rapid delivery, as he waxes lyrical. This track is one for the pure hip-hop heads; as it’s Bas just going in hard with the rappity raps, juxtaposed over a laid-back hopping beat thats bolstered with a booming drum and enthused with a slightly muted sample.

Bolstered by lead single ‘Boca Raton‘ featuring perhaps Bas‘ most high profile feature to date (J.Cole excluded) in the form of ASAP Ferg‘s humorous guest feature – I will admit I don’t care much for Ferg‘s music or style – usually I find him rather one-dimensional, obnoxious, monotonous and with very little to offer – yet quite enjoyed this contribution. The sunny, light instrumentation with tiki-taka drums provides mass holiday vibes which are capitalised on with fitting verses of the same ilk, and the fun music video to match.

While still firmly a project of the hip-hop genre, Bas tastefully messes with some sounds not normally accused of the genre, with songs like ‘Sanufa‘ providing a retro, electro-dance instrumental laden with bassy groove. This outer boundary tone is something fans will know to expect from Bas, and sonically it serves his vocal approach and lyrical content well – it would feel kinda outta place to here him over a trap banger and his words would lose their potency, looking at it oppositionally. Also, it is this ear for such exotic sounds and off-kilter elements that work to the effect of making Bas stand out as a really unique proposition in the over-saturated field of modern hip-hop.

Album finale ‘Rockets‘ similarly ventures into exciting musical realms; melding jumpy afrobeat-esque drums with upbeat pop synths with Bas‘ racing flow before holding up to let some trap hi-hats roll at the hook. This track is an exciting send-off for the project and concludes things well, ushering you to replay the album and doing it’s best to make listeners experience the record front to back and not just skip through.

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