Ella Mai accomplishes its duration without boasting a bad song but it’s clear the aforementioned singles “Boo’d Up,” “Naked” and equally promoted “Trip” cast a long shadow on its contemporaries present on the album.
Without the bloated tracklist of Starboy, and any attempt to please an audience outside of his core, the lack of innovation doesn’t seem take away from the concise, focused, conceptual nature of this well-produced R&B gem.
In an era where artists hype up projects that turn out to be nothing but half-baked playlists, 6LACK’s thoughtful embrace of the album format is refreshing. East Atlanta Love Letter is a moody masterpiece that may very well take the artist’s career to new heights.
It may not be as beautifully consistent as Malibu, but during those glorious pinnacles when Oxnard is firing on all cylinders, it’s undeniably some of the best music of 2018.