Young Fathers

Tape Two

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A mixed bag of styles, Young Fathers' Tape Two follows up 2012's Tape One and pieces together a few genres, either drawing from moody, lo-fi R&B beats à la the Weeknd; getting wild with tribal African beats; or featuring quick-tongued raps over ominous electronic backgrounds. As the word "tape" in the title suggests, all of the production is in a lo-fi, red-lined midrange that would probably sound great on a boom box. "Queen Is Dead" and "Way Down in the Hole" take the dark, minimal Shabazz Palaces approach with menacing raps over fractured backdrops. Meanwhile, "Ebony Sky" is a standout track that is heavily indebted to trip-hop and even darkwave, with a drag beat, icy keyboards, and equally chilly melodies. While this is a continuation of the weird blend of bedroom beats the Scottish teens invented on Tape One, Tape Two isn't exactly more of the same, but more like a darker side of the same coin, or the wintry cold spell that follows the warm summer outing. Both are uniquely imaginative and scattered, and with this one, it becomes wholly apparent that Young Fathers have carved out their own distinct style.

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