LA Sabree – Contemplations and Reservations
Released: 16 December 2020
Contemplations and Reservations is the debut release from PA’s LA Sabree: LA Sabree – Contemplations and Reservations EP Review
Fear of God: 3.5/5 (loads of NBA references here)
Trust: 3.5/5 (this track is airy & spacious, a nice break from the early drill-influence)
Visions: 4/5 (probably my fav song on the album. Raps with conviction and staple song for the entire project)
Remember (ft Adonai): 2.75/5 (a track for the Ladies. I’m not mad at it, but not my ‘cup-of-tea’)
Confessions of An Alcoholic: 4/5 (the “u” [TPAB] of this album. Venting session!)
Contemplations and Reservations (ft Sunnie): 3.75/5 (I love the piano on this, this could’ve been the outro – it gives me outro vibes. Also feels very relieving in sequence, following the previous tracks filled heavy sonics, and emotional vengeance + trauma)
Half as Long (Twice as Bright): 4/5 (feels like a Bonus Track because of how different it sounds compared to the prior tracks Very bouncy and Fly! Salute to bao tran. “Like apostles they ain’t receiving the message”
Carpe Diem: 3/5 (sounds like it could be on a Midnight Club video game soundtrack! Enjoyable)
★★★1/2: Very good!; a few bland songs or minor flaws throughout
LA Sabree takes personally his conflicts and gripes with people, and that fire seems to drive his artistic creation. At a cozy 9-songs, Contemplations and Reservations is a dive into the vengeful side of LA Sabree.
Sabree delivers his rhymes with a raspy conviction reminiscent of NY’s late Pop Smoke. His natural ability to ride beats and create catchy, yet melodic cadences – both mid-verse and in hooks – is one his strong points, at times making him sound like a more polished rapper – yet this is his first project.
The common theme on Contemplations and Reservations centers around Sabree’s annoyance – and some would call it downright disgust – for people he deems as traitors or two-faced. On the booming intro, aptly-titled “Vainglorious“, LA Sabree spits, “Take it to the dome like Kennedy/ This is just a toast to my enemies/ All my fake friends who alive, but are dead to me/” and that’s only the beginning of his tirade against his former friends and current opps. The threats on “Vainglorious” are delivered over dizzying horns reminiscent of Thomas Bell’s Orchestra’s 1979-classic “A Theme For LA’s Team”.
Sabree airs out fake friends yet again on “Trust“, and then again on the ultra-honest “Confessions of an Alcoholic“, creating an EP theme out of his adversaries.
Lyrically, LA Sabree brings a reasonable palette to the table. Contemplations and Reservations is densely, yet carefully loaded with figurative language ranging from metaphors to left-field references. In a Wale–esque fashion, Sabree leans heavily on athletic references, name-dropping a wide-range of athletes from Luka Doncic, Ric Flair, Mike D’Antoni (coach), Matt Stafford, Grant Hill – and even the infamously buff NFL referee-legend, Ed Hochuli.
Although LA Sabree leans on athletics as one of his favorite figurative references, it doesn’t become a crutch. On songs like “Confessions of an Alcoholic“, LA Sabree mixes it up lyrically by name-dropping the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic, The Great Gatsby to complete a “pushing daisies” metaphor over Casey McMillan‘s dramatic, spiraling saxophones:
“I’m feeling like Gatsby/
We all living to push Daisies, if you ask me…/” – LA Sabree on “Confessions of an Alcoholic“
On “Visions“, LA Sabree takes his wordplay into the photo-sphere, executing a darkroom reference that’ll take listeners back to their elective Photo class in High School: “Every time I try to brighten up my picture, they just focus on my negatives“. Establishing a signature style, LA Sabree then quickly jumps back into his athletic-reference bag on the same song: “Money, Power, and Respect – I’m just playing for the hat-trick“.
★★★1/2: There’s no mistaking Friend from Foe on Contemplations and Reservations. LA Sabree clears the air for his circle on his very first project, while simultaneously delivering a small serving of easily-digestable and varied tunes.
Fav songs: “Visions”, “Half as Long (Twice as Bright)“, “Confessions of an Alcoholic“, & “Vainglorious“
Listen to LA Sabree‘s “Contemplations and Reservations” EP here!
★★★★★: Best in show; pinnacle release from an all-time great artist.
★★★★1/2: Stellar example of genre; peak potential.
★★★★: Excellent; recommended to all fans of artist or genre.
★★★1/2: Very good; a few bland songs or minor flaws throughout.
★★★: Good; fans of the artist will find value here.
★★1/2: Average; does little to establish the artist or maintain quality.
★★: Unexceptional; a few highlights but otherwise bland.
★1/2: Weak; unrecommended for anyone but major fans of the style and/or artist.
★: Seriously flawed; very poor work but relatively listenable.
1/2: Terrible; a true embarrassment and akin to audio masochism.