Album Review // Genesis Owusu // STRUGGLER
If you've never listened to Genesis Owusu, do it immediately. If you have — particularly if you were a fan of his landmark debut Smiling with No Teeth — you still need to listen to STRUGGLER (styled in all caps), because quite simply, it rips. Kofi Owusu-Ansah, better known as Genesis Owusu, is a Ghana-born Australian who can seemingly blend any genre he wants into gold. On STRUGGLER, this versatility is again on full display. From the video-game like intro of "Leaving the Light" as it morphs into an uptempo dance cut (that's welcomingly reminiscent of Girl Talk, of all things), to the lo-fi neo-soul of the closer "Stuck to the Fan," this album doesn't relent. It's refreshing, fun, emotionally evocative, and pretty much everything someone would want — combining hip-hop, rock, and EDM. Despite all the sonic peregrinations, STRUGGLER is remarkably cohesive, held together by its central narrative about "The Roach." Highlights for me include the aforementioned opening track, "The Old Man," and the side two hat trick of "Balthazar," "Stay Blessed," and "What Comes Will Come." For an album this accomplished and innovative, the crazy part is that his debut might be even better. So do yourself a favor and listen to STRUGGLER first, and treat yourself to more later.