Album Review - Milky Way, Bas

Album Review - Milky Way, Bas

If you're the type of person who puts albums on shuffle (you monster), you may want to put a pin in your dirty habit for Bas's second and most whimsical album, Milky Way- I'll get back to why in a second.

But first, let's talk about Bas's effortless ability to extend summer time beyond its expiration date through an album that lasts seconds over 39 minutes. My first uninterrupted listen was while I was on holiday, which fooled me into thinking that the Afro-Caribbean ‘Sunsets-and-Sangrias’ vibes I was getting through the speakers as Bas floated from tribal tones to Boca Raton were due to my personal time in the sunshine away from the city. 

Needless to say, I was wrong.

The artist’s sophomore project is worlds away from his first album, Too High To Riot, showing Bas’s more chilled out attitude towards love, sex, racism and anxiety. Bas travels from poetic piano notes and relationship regrets in 'Icarus' with Ari Lennox's sticky honey sounds to straight latin vibes in Boca Raton with A$AP Ferg, and down to African house beats on 'Sanufa' with the ease of a jet-setting pilot. Except there's no landing- especially if you put the album on repeat. And that's why, if you want to hop on board, get your finger off that dirty shuffle button and keep your seatbelt unbuckled- it's a smooth ride right to the end. 

If anyone tells you the album's highlight is anything other than the Queens native's collab with Dreamville label owner/mentor/god J. Cole, block them out of your socials- you don't need to "talk until your phone dies" to that kind of negativity. Bas and Cole match each other's verses in harmony that's palpable in rhythm, speed, and the artists' appreciation for the gems in their lives who don't want gems on their wrists. Throw in a singing J Cole coming in with the tropical/tribal “La-La’s” to bridge the verses and you've got yourself a summer hit that, for once, does not feature Calvin Harris.

You’ll get a kick out of Infinity+2's prelude, 'Infinity', especially if you get the White Men Can't Jump reference. You'll want to kick Bas's racist neighbours listening to 'Barack Obama Special' and feel the injustice as you remember J. Cole dealing with the same issue. The closing song, Spaceships + Rockets, takes Lion Babe's Rockets to the Milky Way with sounds from Moe Moks and mOma+Guy proving that Bas isn't an MC, he's a magician. Childish Major isn't a producer, he's a magician. J. Cole isn't a label owner and talent scout, he's a magician.

This album is not curated to sell, it's curated to be- and, these days, that's as rare as a New Yorker choosing a Chicago deep-dish over his hometown's own slice.