- “Crushed Ice” feat. J. Greer
- “Don’t Try”
Last year I made a shift in the direction of my site. I felt I wasn’t able to help artists by posting five to seven times a day and that it wasn’t doing any good. I decided to change and went with quality over quantity; a move that has paid dividends. Society dictates what trends are popular and with attention spans at an all-time low, this route makes more sense not only for myself but for music artists. Unless you’re a big name, like Drake or Rihanna, most people aren’t checking for an album filled with 18 tracks. I have to compliment Houston, TX’s Nique as he understands this concept. Dazed & Confused is an eight track EP that examines drug use and the loss of his brother.
Nique kicks the project off with “PTSD”, a smooth feeling record produced by Charles Sparks. The vibe is mellow but the hook and delivery leave more to be desired. It’s not a bad song but it’s one that would have been suited further down the lineup. Also note that while this project has eight songs, two of those come in the form of short skits. “How?” sees Nique tapping into his vocal range to set up the first stand out of the project in “DVD”. This record features a simple guitar melody from producer Lexi Banks that takes over while Nique flexes his macking skills on the chorus. The harmonies from Nique’s voice play a big part in why this song is catchy and one that you’ll come back to over and over again.
Sequencing on Dazed & Confused is solid as “DVD” is followed up by “Crushed Ice” featuring J. Greer, a song that explores the thoughts of love. Producers KANG, FreddyING, and Nique do an excellent job of telling the story through production even before Nique spits a verse as the Charlie Brown sample in the beginning of the song informs us. This song is not only fun but it examines love through Nique’s and Greer’s eyes before a beat switch in the end. A British voice remarks, “You know, they say love is the root of all evil”, before Nique switches the flow and embarks on a personal journey for the last 20 seconds. We learn more about him and the death of his brother before “Relli” Speaks” comes through the speakers.
Songs like “WTF” are catchy as well and it goes to show that Nique values creating quality music for his fans. Lexi Banks does a great job on production throughout but it’s the final record, “Don’t Try”, that encompasses everything about Nique. The self-produced song allows the Houston artist to open up and express himself more so than any other record on Dazed & Confused. Synths and keys set the tone as Nique’s unique voice cuts through like a knife cutting a fresh loaf of bread. A majority of the project mirrors a person who’s into partying but there are glimpses that show these are all ways that he’s processing the death of his brother (great example at the end of “Crushed Ice”). Artists create some of their best music while struggling to cope with situations. While it’s unfortunate that Nique’s brother passed away, it may have given him the opportunity to create some of the best music of his career.
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Stream Dazed & Confused: Soundcloud