A memorable album

Danny Bracco, R3 Sports Editor

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Tory Lanez performs on stage.

If there’s one word to describe Tory Lanez, it’s versatile. From chart-topping pop singles to underground trap anthems, Lanez is capable of creating hits on both sides of the music spectrum, making any new music he drops a must-listen.

Following his Grammy-nominated debut album I Told You in 2016, Lanez has returned with his sophomore project titled Memories Don’t Die.

While I enjoyed Lanez’s debut album, I felt the tracklist was far too long (28 songs), and just overwhelmed the listener with skits. Following the project, I was curious to see how Lanez would put together his next album.

Memories Don’t Die consists of 18 songs (no skits, thank god), featuring the singles “Shooters,” “Real Thing” featuring Future, “Skrt Skrt,” and “B.I.D.”

As far as the singles go, “Shooters” shows Lanez boasting about the usual topics: his wealth, his cars, and the type of people he hangs around with (the “shooters”). However, the instrumental is more than entertaining, featuring a hard-hitting bass and a variety of brass instruments as a complement.

“Real Thing” gives listeners insight to his love life, as he makes it clear he wants the “real thing,” or a true, deep relationship. Future’s vocals in between verses help to spice up the song as well, making it compelling overall.

It’s clear Lanez is aware of his past accomplishments, seeing that on the song “B.B.W.W x Fake Show” he states, “First single had me in the crib puttin’ platinum plaques into place / Dropped Luv, went top Pop, Club, everything just grace.”

And although Lanez’s past has been riddled with conflict, he uses past struggles as a fuel to drive him forward for the future, a constant theme across the project.

On Memories Don’t Die, Lanez claims that he and critically acclaimed artist Travis Scott almost fought after Lanez received criticism for sounding like Scott, and replying with “I can’t sound like somebody I wrote for.” On the song “Hate to Say,” Lanez says he and Scott almost fought at the Mala Luna Music Festival, but the two agreed shortly after that “it was music.”

Additionally, the song “Pieces” featuring 50 Cent focuses on a story from Lanez’s childhood, reminiscent of ‘90s rap, as 50 Cent points out on the song that the story sounds similar to one that would come from rap legend Tupac Shakur. Lanez tells the story over a very old-school instrumental, making the song a must-listen on the album.

Altogether, Lanez goes deeper into his past on his sophomore album than he did on his debut, pointing out that the memories will always be with him, shaping him into the person he is today (hence the name of the album).

In addition to “Pieces,” the songs “48 Floors” featuring Mansa, and “B.B.W.W x Fake Show” are easily the best songs on the tracklist, and anyone looking for a preview of the two sides of Tory Lanez should definitely check those two songs out.

But while Lanez is making strides in a positive direction, there are a variety of songs such as “4 Me” and “Skrt Skrt” that are rather repetitive and leave the listener rather bored by the end of the song.

Lanez has proven himself a success in the pop-music industry, but I feel he struggles on songs in which he relies too heavily on his singing voice such as “Connection.” For the future, Lanez should stick to his combative and braggadocious delivery, which in my opinion gives him the opportunity to show his true artistic and lyrical talent.

Overall, I enjoyed the album much more than his debut project, as I feel Lanez puts more time and thought into his lyrics on the project, coupled once again with his versatility. While I don’t see this as an album-of-the-year contender come December, the album is a fun listen with multiple songs that will surely be added to your playlists following your first listen. I recommend the album to fans of Drake, Travis Scott and Ty Dolla $ign.

Rating: 6/10