On his recent album, an Atlanta native Cam the Artisan finds himself stuck in between various feelings regarding love, pressure, "Stress", and "Fake Love" of his rising stature as an artist. The twelve track album is cascaded with a separate vibe for every song that flows together with incredible cohesiveness.
The album opener, "IntroHurt", features Tonye Ayeba, who is seen multiple times throughout the album, with somber but soothing vocals over a mellow piano that is soon accompanied by Cam's description of the pain and other emotions that are elaborated on following tracks. The lead single, released a year prior to the album, and second track finds Cam and the singer Xiamara Jennings harmonizing and looking for the "Bliss" in love and his life situations.
Laid over soft wavy guitar patterns, this track is crazily intoxicating. Track three, "WYA?!", is self-explanatory, as Cam faces the importance of recognizing growth and the overarching question of "Where is God when things aren't going the right way?" The vibey track can not only be immensely self-reflective but is still capable of being blasted in the whip in the sunshine of summer. It leads into the singular "braggadocious" banger of this album, "Celly". In this track, Cam describes the attention he begins to receive due to his slight fame and notoriety, followed by people hitting up his "celly". Ahjee Parker is also featured on the song, bringing in a high energy verse over banging 808s.
"Cam is the embodiment of a “coming-of-age” story, and it is beautifully reflected through this body of work. He allowed himself to analyze each of his emotions as a spectrum of colors and presented growth and understanding to who he is to himself as well as the rest of the world. He transformed his losses into lessons and compiled each of them through the tracks into the form of poetry like a self-reflective journal." (Joat)
The track flows flawlessly into the "Voicemails Interlude", which features a plethora of voicemails left by people knowing and recognizing him as an artist over a soothing instrumental that leads into the next song, "False Love". This story is told over and over in hip-hop history, as fake affection is all too common following solidarity and even slight success in one's field. Cam truly just builds upon this point from "Celly" to "False Love". "Stress" is the falling action beginner for this album. On the 7th track, assisted by vocals from Tonye on the hook, Cam finds himself scattered throughout his thoughts and feelings from pressure and self-consciousness among other debilitating thoughts over yet another somber, hypnotizing beat.
"Mary Jane", the broken piano cascaded song finds Cam back to love, opening up on situations with a woman that gets high off the Mary Jane, while he searches for ways to get her high off of their love and feelings. "Vibe Out Lady" is similar in sound to Mick Jenkins' "Communication", but focuses more on the positive possibility of falling in love with this woman and simply enjoying their time together. This track is infested with summer dance vibes with blended vocals to match. The somber and scattered sounding track, "SadderDays", is filled with a story of a great downfall of the high he previously spoke about, now in duet with Tonye vocals again.
"I love how relatable this album is, and how much passion and euphoric energy is placed between the lines of the entire project. It will make you happy, it will make you cry, it will make you question, it will make you think, but most importantly, it will allow you to feel like “you” in all your flaws & imperfections. “Hues” is a reminder that you are most certainly not alone, and you are allowed to feel everything in all of your colors & shades." (Joat)
The negative energy is elaborated upon through his high tempo verse and Tonye's finish. A saddening voicemail leads into the second to last track, where Cam expresses his affirmations regarding his journey and every struggle being "Worth It". Chloé adds background vocals for the hook that add uplifting energy to the already vibey track. The final and title track, "Hues", again featuring Chloé, is the most fitting closure for an album you'll have heard in a while. With a spoken-word piece in the middle of the track, the song is intensely reflective and emotionally wholesome as he explains the central theme of the album and mini-themes explored within the various tracks of the album.
This album is deserving of your undivided attention and care and is sure to keep you invested in Cam the Artisan as an underground artist on the rise. He reaches much deeper into his emotions than most and doesn't express them in uninteresting ways. Give this album a listen and it will put you in your true element.