I'm probably rating this super high because I'm a new SAINt JHN listener and only knew him from the 'Roses (Imanbek Remix)' which blew up on Tik Tok. The main reason for why I even chose to listen to this was because of one of the singles, 'Sucks to Be You' which immediately sucked me into his world and fascinated me with a mix of vocals and production that I've never heard before. 'While the World Was Burning' took me by surprise, with its magnificent 12 tracks that fit together to form a tremendous journey through the world of SAINt JHN's mind.
The vocals from SAINt JHN are breathtaking, being spectacular in almost all aspects with his amazing ability to easily switch between rapping and singing without breaking a sweat. I never expect SAINt JHN to sound this good after listening to his viral Tik Tok hit, where his vocals were probably changed a bit which was why I never realized how beautiful he sounded. The way SAINt JHN changes from his many styles in a smooth fashion is just fascinating and can be seen on the opening track where he switches from singing to whisper singing on the pre-chorus of the track. I love how thick and delicate SAINt JHN vocals are at the same time, surprising me at the way he chooses to manage the variety of his vocals with such wonderful fashion. His singing vocals are certainly better than his rapping vocals, as he seems to be completely comfortable while singing, being fully aware at what he's doing with his vocals. His rapping vocals are not to be ignored, as they're impressive too which was something I never expected and was similar to Trippie Redd's thick vocals in some away. Overall, SAINt JHN brings something super special to the music industry with his ability to change styles with ease.
The production from F a l l e n is fantastic for most of the album, but at the same time, it feels like a failed, ambitious attempt at creating an atmosphere with the beats. The production feels fabulous for the most part, like I'm going on a long drive across the country, similar to what the cover art for the album represents. The atmosphere that F a l l e n seems to create can completely be felt, but the main problem is that there seems to be holes in the atmosphere distracting me from the effect that F a l l e n is trying to create. The instrumentals seem to go unnoticed, being a key factor that creates SAINt JHN's recognizable sound. The drums are extremely inconsistent sounding off on a few tracks (like on Monica Lewinsky, Election Year), while sounding tremendous on others (like on Roses (Remix)). The slight warmth that the production provides feels comfy along with the comfortable, thick and delicate vocals from SAINt JHN. Quay Global appears on the album twice with some high quality trap beats that have the tremendous drums that I was talking about earlier, although I didn't feel like SAINt JHN fit the same way as he did with F a l l e n's beats. Again, another problem occurs as F a l l e n's production gets repetitive really quickly and in order for SAINt JHN to evolve, I feel like he needs to move away and experiment with different producers as it seems to be almost everyone's problem with his music. You would think that with all the features that he had gotten on this album, he would additionally get a variety of top producers to produce for him, but he sadly chose F a l l e n who he's currently super comfortable with so I understand his decision, but I don't think it was the best decision for his future. Overall, F a l l e n's production is pretty good and seems to be doing a decent job at creating SAINt JHN's desired effect, but it does have its problems that both of them seemed to not notice.
The lyrics are below average with nothing being mind-blowing and with everything being too basic, not adding a bit to the beautiful factor of this album. The album's topics are really basic, which was disappointing as he seems to spend more time trying to make music with a variety of topics instead of actually exploring into the topics that he chooses and just skimming each topic that he touches. On 'Pray 4 Me', he matches Kanye's lyrics on talking about praying, but he clearly doesn't make creative lyrics to the level that Kanye West does. On 'Ransom', he tries to make a generic R&B track and like other tracks, he does a decent job at talking about the usual topics in that genre such as miscommunication in a relationship. 'Switching Sides' is a super stale trap song where he seemed to try to hard to get the trap feeling going and it just made everything feel extremely unnatural. The general theme of all the topics is a feeling of paradise, lyrics that settle your mind and take away stress are used throughout, which is something that I personally love. SAINt JHN's pre-choruses and post-choruses are almost perfect in every track and sound super satisfying with the way he flows his lyrics along with the delivery of his vocals, something I mentioned before. In the pre-chorus of the opening track, SAINt JHN raps, "She said she believe in me, just keep on goin', Just make sure when you get there, leave the door open, I said you know who I am, this kid from Brooklyn, I wish you still believed, even though tears are soaking" which sounds stunning and takes my mind of everything. On remix to 'Roses', SAINt JHN sings at the end of the chorus, "And I know you won't tell nobody nothing, And I know you won't tell nobody no" which seems so simple, but actually adds tons to the song, especially a heavenly feeling which sounds fascinating. 'Time For Demons' and 'Back On The Ledge' are both emotional tracks that seem to easily go unnoticed, probably because even though the lyrics show that he's spilling his emotions, we can't really feel them because his thick vocals cover his feelings and don't do the best job at letting listeners feel them. Overall, the lyrics of this album aren't impressive, although the delicate, fantastic flows sound amazing along with SAINt JHN's vocals.
The features are all around average, except on 'Monica Lewinsky, Election Year', not adding anything that SAINt JHN could've done better or anything necessary. Lil Uzi Vert's verse was forgettable, although being a fantastic fit to the track, as after listening to his verse a couple of times, nothing ended up sticking to me. DaBaby and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie sound stunning on 'Monica Lewinsky, Election Year' with their magnificent vocals adding something special to the track, making the song sound more magnificent. Future sounds awkward on the remix to 'Roses' turning the entire track into a trap banger which didn't seem like it was intended to be that. Kanye West was actually decent on 'Pray 4 Me' with the track seeming like it was made specifically for Kanye. I really liked to see Kanye collaborate with SAINt JHN as it looks like SAINt JHN looks up to Kanye, so working with him must be an unreal experience for SAINt JHN. JID was full of juice on his verse, providing his unlimited energy into 'Quarantine Wifey', adding lyrics that matched the track and was a wonderful addition to the album, giving him more exposure. 6LACK and Kehlani were below average and I was very disappointed to see that Kehlani didn't get an entire verse as the album was lacking a female performance, although Kehlani's background vocals sounded beautiful along with 6LACK's lovely verse which was a little boring. Overall, the features on the album were not the best at times, but always seemed to fit into the tracks that they were assigned to.
SAINt JHN brought something new to the music industry with his ability to adjust to almost any genre, especially the laid-back ones, with his vocals which seem like a little mix of Trippie Redd and The Weeknd. Blowing up with a remix to 'Roses' actually helped him in a huge way, more than others, as no one knew how his vocals actually sounded and if they chose to take a listen to his other music, they would be placed in a trance with SAINt JHN's unexpected vocals taking them away on a journey. I told a few of my friends to listen to this album and as soon as the first song started, they were taken away by his heavenly vocals. Since I've heard that SAINt JHN has been making music for more than a minute and people told me that he hasn't showed any improvement, I feel like this album served as his introduction to the mainstream audience and wasn't really meant for his hard-core fans who have been listening to his music for a while. If he doesn't improve in his next project, that's when I sense a problem as I think he was trying really hard to make an impact on the mainstream audience and not improve with this album as a sign of an artist wanting to make an impact on the mainstream is making songs with a bunch of high-key features such as the features on this album, although I might be wrong .
Overall, 'While The World Was Burning' was a beautiful listen that amazed me in all aspects as it wasn't even close to what I was expecting with its wonderful lyrics, pretty good production, and variety of basic lyrics that didn't venture very far.