"While its lyrics don't always land, All We Need's hooks, melodies and rhythmic nous are remarkable for such a young performer."
The industry buzz building around prodigal genre-spanner Raury is starkly palpable. A year after the much-hyped Indigo Child EP, the Atlanta teenager's impressive full-length debut All We Need drops toward the tail-end of an already phenomenal 2015, both weathering and justifying the excitement. With help from the likes of Wu-Tang legend RZA, rapper Big K.R.I.T. and producer extraordinaire Danger Mouse, Raury impressively balances a concoction of seemingly incongruent influences á la Kanye West and Andre 3000 — both of whom have already professed admiration for the talented 19-year-old.
While its lyrics don't always land, All We Need's hooks, melodies and rhythmic nous are remarkable for such a young performer. Atop an inviting instrumental aesthetic the teenager ceremoniously switches back and forth between rapping and crooning, synths and guitar, straddling the boundaries of contemporary folk, electro, hip hop and soul. Devil's Whisper, Mama and Friends blend radio-friendly affability with a heavy dose of imagination, while Her and Forbidden Knowledge elicit a thought-provoking, inventive energy belying their performer's adolescent years.
Offering his US and UK fans a unique chance to immerse themselves in an already fascinating album through a touring art exhibition, it's clear Raury and his craft are not content with merely entering the creative conversation — they want to push it. Though not yet fully formed, it's hard to unsettle the feeling the pair of them could soon develop into something of a highly impressionable, new age juggernaut.