Alfred Banks – Mere-Exposure Effect EP
Released: 29 July 2018
Alfred Banks boasts a ready-to-go flow that makes you wanna jump and rap his lyrics in place! “Right Here, Pt 2″ and “Arrival” are fitting microcosms of Alfred’s style and ability to ride trap drums in a non-trap setting – these songs are mostly about love and flexing, not “the trap”.
1. Arrival: 3.5/5
“Arrival” boasts an infectious hook and sneaky-good bars throughout: “They tryna catch my wave but I’m just saying hi“. A serviceable intro with a catchy hook and respectable verses.
2. This is True: 3.75/5
I love the sped-up female vocal sample here. She caresses the trap hi-hats while the bass grumbles like a thunderstorm underneath the melodies.
3. Show You: 3.75/5
“Show You” is a future-sound love song wrapped in serenades by Alfred Banks. Malik Ninetyfive continues to display his affinity for trap drums while also showcasing ingenuity by placing said trap drums under sonically softer settings. The bells in the production sounds like a page out of Soulection’s playbook.
My favorite bar: “Don’t just love me for the money just know a purse (is) coming“.
4. Right Here, Pt. 2: 4/5
This is the best song on the album. Alfred Banks’ hyper, quick-n-ready flow meets its match versus the double-time hi-hats and snares on “Right Here, Pt 2″. The two mesh to create a beautiful uptempo, yet laid-back melodic merger. The hook is provocative yet stern, and Banks’ melodies find a comfortable pocket in Malik Ninetyfive’s spacey production.
5. Toro: 2.75/5
Alfred Banks reminisces on an ex-lover accompanied by a Toro y Moi sample here on “Toro“. Nothing spectacular about this song here. It’s actually one of the least engaging songs on the album, and is without Alfred’s signature hyper, “up-N-ready” flow. But despite this, “Toro” adds value to Mere-Exposure Effect EP with its vibey aura. It serves as a solid closer in the sequence of this album.
VERDICT: 3.55/5 “Very good; a few bland songs or minor flaws throughout.”
Banks’ energy and charisma adds value to his 16s, and his sporadic vocal inflections (like on “This is True“) keeps his verses fresh and entertaining despite filler bars.
There’s something to say about Banks’ vocabulary and imagination too. Firstly, there are few “curse” words on this EP, which shows range. Second, Banks’ metaphors are pretty damn clever to the point where you figure that he’s a naturally intelligent guy. Like on “This Is True” where he spits “I got a full house, you already know the deal” or on the intro “Arrival” where he spits “I’m a savage/ Power circle, i’m on another tangent“.
Your average rapper won’t understand how “power CIRCLE” relates to a “tangent”. Geometry bars!