There are only a few great emotions we get to experience in our short time on Earth; one of them is love. The feeling of love will make you believe you can do anything in your mind that you want to achieve. It’s a feeling that we yearn from the time we are born until our very last breath. Trying to explain love is a difficult feat because it feels different for everybody. While the love of someone can make you into a better person there’s also the side of the spectrum we all fear: heartbreak. The power of love can not only make you feel whole but it can make you feel empty when someone takes their love away. These are emotions and feelings that everyone has or will experience at some point in life.
“This is what Twenty88 would sound like if it were on a euphoric drug trip.”
If the cycle of love had a soundtrack I think it would sound like celestialove. This is a ten track project from Cincinnati, OH artist Devin Burgess and singer Xzela. It embodies the feeling that the love from another human gives you. The production is airy and feels like you’re floating in the clouds thanks to a slew of producers such as Yondo, Skip Sanders, Jasperino, and more. celestialove showcases the cycle of a relationship: meeting, falling in love, heartbreak, and the aftermath. Ultimately there are relationships where two souls connect and are meant to be; this project explores this theme thoroughly.
Love is always going to be a topic for music because it’s a major part of our lives. The way that Devin and Xzela explain the cycles is beautiful. celestialove is what Twenty88 would sound like if it were on a euphoric drug trip. Xzela’s vocals are shaky at best on “Vibes”, the opening record, but her message speaks on not losing focus on love. Devin joins the end of the track with his deep voice to contrast the softness of Xzela as he vents about his soul crushing day job. The way this song, and most of the project, is constructed sounds like a back and forth conversation between lovers. While there aren’t many times where they sing or harmonize together, I pictured each verse and chorus as Xzela and Devin engaging in dialogue about their relationship.
There are always going to be disagreements in your love life, whether they’re big or small. Our lovers breakup on “FirstSnow” as Devin rhymes:
“They say you never know what you had until you don’t have it/but what I wouldn’t do just to see you, can’t take your absence/the fact is yo my passion’s been active can’t blame distractions/for the way that I’ve been actin’ can’t change the fact that it happened”
The album has been pure joy and ecstasy up until this point and to hear the lovers come to an end is sad. “FirstSnow” captures what it’s like on a cold and lonely night in the midwest during winter. The wind cuts through you with all of your layers as you walk to your destination in deep thought, pondering what went wrong in your relationship. Your eyes begin to water and you don’t know if it’s ultimately from being sad or the wind hitting you face first.
At the end of a relationship you’re left with scars, memories, and the hope to find this feeling of love again. You’ve given a piece of you to another human being and that is deeper than love. celestialove ends with the hopeful “Waves” as Devin and Xzela part ways with a new perspective on life. They’ve used this experience to learn about themselves while still holding hope they may end up together after they’ve had time to heal. The cycle of love will repeat itself until you’ve found the one who makes you want to be a better lover, a better friend, and a better overall person. Love and heartbreak are muses and when used right they can help someone who’s going through the joy or agony of this feeling. celestialove is an excellent take on this never changing story by two artists who have channeled their prior experiences into art.
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