Kaytranada (Louis Kevin Celestin) is a hip-hop producer from Montreal, Canada. He signed to XL records in December of 2015, which also boasts a list of accomplished artists. This is the first full-length LP released by Kaytranada following several EPs and mixtapes in the past 6 years. The list of artists featuring on the album looked promising: Karriem Riggins, Vic Mensa, Aluna George, Anderson .Paak, BadBadNotGood, Little Dragon, Syd tha Kid, and Craig David.

Kaytranada shows his jazz influence on the opening two tracks, which kick off the album in a wonderful fashion. Track Uno is an instrumental that shows what the producer can do on his own, employing an extremely catchy use of synths on top of a bass line that compliments the rhythm very well. The next track, Bus Ride, is another instrumental song. Karriem Riggins features on this track, and Kaytranada does well to put his production in the background so as to make Riggins the main point of the song. The drumming on this song sounds fantastic, and it’s complimented well by the other sounds used in the song.

These two tracks really highlight his prowess when it comes to instrumentals, but he also finds a way to shine while remaining in the background for the songs where artists feature. The feature from BadBadNotGood is fantastic, with a funky bass line, but the instrumental outside of the drums and bass don’t seem fitting. That’s the only gripe I have with this project: it becomes unfocused after the first few tracks. It feels like the album is on shuffle in a playlist of various artists, not a full cohesive LP from a producer. Some of the features are also lacking, with a dull verse from Goldlink and SYD is quite underwhelming on her track as well. Anderson .Paak is the bright spot of the vocal features, with a fantastic couple of verses on a very catchy, fitting beat.

Overall, Kaytranada’s commercial debut was inconsistently good, but very underwhelming in many spots. This album is definitely worth a listen for the high points, but there are several songs that are simply worth skipping. I’m excited for his next LP to see if he fixes his inconsistencies, putting together his songs in an order that makes sense in the context of the album.