The time has finally come!! For the past 8 years or so, I have been talking about Kaytranada and praising him for his work, whether it was being my #1 album of 2016 with 99.9%, making another splash with Bubba during the end of 2019 (and winning Grammys for it),or even producing full projects with rappers like IDK & Amine. But now, I actually get to talk about some new solo work of his, that being his third studio album (and 2nd on RCA) Timeless.

Like most producer-fronted projects, I was curious about the features he was going to have on here, although it doesn’t seem out of the ordinary when they include the likes of Don Toliver, Charlotte Day Wilson, Dawn Richard, Tinashe, Anderson. Paak, SiR, and Thundercat, among others. You’ll get names you either know or not that familiar with.

So…. is this album timeless as the name implies, or is it very dated?

Well, from the overall sound, I see that he’s still leaning heavily into R&B, dancehall and electronic vibes with some hip-hop tinges in there, like what was previously on Bubba.  The whole album just has that nightclub/summer vibe going on, and it sounds great! The opening track “Pressure” has a bombastic beat behind it with samples from Redman’s “Let’s Get Dirty” and a 1975 track from Thelma Houston, “Pressure Cooker.”

“Spit It Out” with Rochelle Jordan has these smooth and sexy vocals coming from her along with the snaps and claps of the beat. “Call U Up” with Lou Phelps, one half of hip hop duo The Celestics (the other being Kay, Lou is his younger brother), has a dancey, funky vibe for it, almost like nu-disco but with more flavor in there. The same can be said for “Weird” with Durand Bernarr, and the joint just makes you want to dance in a nightclub, just like “Dance Dance Dance Dance,”  the second instrumental joint on the record.

This right here is the pretty boy swag
My niggas pretty too, got pretty boy mags
And pretty boy gaps, that pretty boy status
That Z too fly, I don’t even need a stylist (Nah)
Moving something like a gyalis
I get what I want, know I got you niggas jealous (Jealous)
She wants to caress my tats
I let her talk back, got pornstar stats (Yeah)
Always end up on top like it’s missionary
Beat the pussy up, put it in the cemetery (Yeah)
You not used to a nigga like me
You like white boys rocking Abercrombie (Oh)

I admit, hearing Don Toliver on the track “Feel A Way” did make me feel something on here, and he sounds good on this beat with the warbly bass going there.

I will say some tracks do have that samey dancehall/afro-beat type production like on “Still,” “Video,” “Hold On,” and “Seemingly.” That’s not to say the tracks are awful, far from it, but they don’t feel dynamic or interesting enough to be favorites.  Hell, the vocals from the featured artists were fine as well, but the tracks did feel interchangeable in a way and while they maybe could be thrown on as background noise, that’s really it. However, “Drip Sweat” with Channel Tres is the opposite of what I just said; this joint is phenomenal, dynamic, has a badass beat breakdown and amazing production at that. I will say that the song does sound like I heard it on an ad before although I wouldn’t attest to that.

Man’s got me fucked up
Let’s keep my head up
You hold your hands up
They might not shoot y’all (Shoot y’all)
All of this hoopla
Because of the internet
If it’s ’bout bullshit (Bullshit)
They using my interest

“Please Babe” and “Stepped On” has a lot more going for it, especially the latter with Kaytranada providing vocals for it, but then in comes the double punch of “Do 2 Me” (with Anderson. Paak and SiR) and “Witchy” (with Childish Gambino). You have Paak’s effortless swagger that might seem corny but it’s better whenever he does it, and while SiR only does the last verse, he closed it well. Then there’s the funny thing about “Witchy”: the song was teased in 2022 during a DJ set, and now we get the real thing. Childish Gambino’s performance is superb, and it is a banger for sure. Rochelle Jordan makes another appearance on here with the final track and single of the album, “Lover/Friend,” and once again, this was a fine track. Her vocals are great, the beat sounds hypnotic, and probably an OK way to end off the album…

… except it’s not.

Yeah, there’s like 4 more tracks to go, and it’s on a 2nd disc.

“Wasted Words” with Thundercat has to be one of the dumbest tracks on the album, and yet this is like my top 5 favorite songs on there. It’s short and it’s all about him talking shit to somebody, but it’s hilarious to hear. It sounds exactly like something I would hear on a Thundercat record, which makes me hope he has an album in the works.

Oh, you got the strap?
Oh, word? (Nigga, nigga, nigga)
Who gives a fuck? (Nigga, nigga, nigga)
Mr. Know-it-all (Mr. Know-it-all, know-it-all)
No one gives a fuck what you talkin’ ‘bout (Nigga, nigga, nigga)
So just shut your mouth
You filthy whore
All these wasted words

And that’s me giving a piece of those lyrics. It’s a short track of 87-90 seconds, aka the normal length of an anime opening/ending. “Snap My Fingers” with PinkPantheress sounds amazing from her magnificent vocals to the hypnotic beat. The other Channel Tres’ contribution, “Stuntin’,” does have a slower buildup than “Drip Sweat,” but it does bang and the actual closer is “Out of Luck” with Mariah The Scientist, which has some minor changes from the version on her album To Be Eaten Alive, and yeah Mariah’s vocals were perfect on this.

Overall, this album does display Kaytranada’s best elements of dance music: funky, vibe-heavy, energetic, groovy, sensual and hitting the beats so right. However, sometimes the production here can sound a bit too familiar or not as dynamic as previous albums. I know I’m not going to expect another 99.9% out of him but even if I found this and BUBBA to not reach the favorability I had with the debut album, I still have something to like at the end of the day.


FINAL VERDICT: BUY IT. Timeless or not, this joint hit at the right TIME.

TIMELESS is on KAYTRANADA,LLC/RCA Records and is available on Vinyl, digital download and streaming services.

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