Roy Woods

Say Less

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After narrowly missing the Top Ten of the Billboard R&B/hip-hop chart with the mixtape Waking at Dawn, Roy Wood$ quickly followed up with the Nocturnal EP, then prepared his comparatively varied first LP, Say Less, for the following year. Between releases, Wood$ didn't build a supplemental discography of featured appearances -- unlike most of his contemporaries -- but a month prior to the arrival of his album, he could be heard on PnB Rock's "Lowkey," a track that also featured 24hrs. Wood$ and 24hrs, who sounds like he could be the-Dream's younger brother, continue to complement one another here on highlight "Take Time," a pleading ballad with atmospheric dancehall touches, while PnB Rock, dvsn, and PartyNextDoor appear elsewhere. The guests and the stylistic variety in the productions set this apart from the singer's past work. Downcast, borderline torpid slow jams are still a major part of his sound, but he stretches out. He might actually be enjoying himself on "Little Bit of Lovin," an upbeat disco-funk throwback, and on "Something New," a pop-oriented contemporary dancefloor number. Wood$ still writes primarily about his indulgences -- liquor, weed, pills, women whose acquiescence evidently falls short of his standard -- and occasionally shows some vulnerability. He'd do well to maintain his long-term partnership with Prezident Jeff, whose tightly coiled drums on "Glasses," akin to pre-commercialized dubstep, push his mellifluous, slightly raspy vocals into a level of urgency previously unheard.

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