Raury – ‘All We Need’ Album Review

All We Need is the debut LP by Raury. Raury is a very interesting artist. For one, you can’t categorize what he does. He’s the embodiment of what’s been bred by the genre bending of this generation. He lends himself to indie rock just as much as he calls hip hop his home. Though he hails from the Trap capital Atlanta, Georgia he preaches a message of peace and positivity, the polar opposite of his native’s stereotypes. Though he clearly has a talent for arranging his records, it’s difficult to discern whether his ideas are ambitious or if they’re a call to ghosts of music’s past.

Raury’s strengths are apparent. He makes anthemic records where he’s singing and rapping all in one. He plays with studio effects on his voice. There’s moments where he lets the production speak, and rightfully so as it sometimes says more than any verse could. “Devil’s Whisper” is the 19 year old at his best. It serves up as the answer to 2013’s “God’s Whisper.” as he plays an alluring Lucifer, one which is complimented by his soft spoken delivery. He acts out the verses over fitting folktime guitars before a verse that should double as his mission statement. “Forbidden Knowledge” doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but isn’t short on potential. “Trap Tears” combines folk rock and trap rap. There are moments where you really think that this kid can tip the scales here.

Then you remember that this is still a 19 year old whose ambition may exceed his talent. As gifted as he may be, Raury is still a teenager trying to figure it out. You can hear the homage, but you can also hear him looking to recreate things that he was a fan of. There’s elements of 808’s Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Andre 3000, 60’s Rock bands, Massive Attack, tribal drums, etc. Not much of which sound authentic to Raury. It can also be said that his stories and references don’t sound like they’re first person events, ie. the stories on “Trap Tears.” His rapping can also improve as he comes off a bit amateur at times with lines such as “You can be salty like them fries you be supersizin’.”

We should forgive him as it’s difficult to pop 19 year old Nas’ out of the box, but what he lacks in writing he makes up for in ideas and attention to detail of that tracks as a whole. It’s a bit much that he’s been heralded as the second coming as his shoes have a bit more foot space until he can walk on his own. All We Need will draw ire for this fact alone. If he can tighten up his penwork and delivery on future efforts, he may truly be may be what we want.

*Ether Report Card – 6.9/10