For some obscure reason, the more self-deprecating and cast-offish an album's press release, the more it makes me like the music. On Nashville producer Ricca Vita's self-titled debut Ricca Vita, he describes the album's motivation as, "I wanted to make songs that took the listener from point A to B as opposed to having a goal of engraining a hook into someone’s brain (not saying there's anything wrong with that). For me the EP was a big canvas I could throw-up on, a vomit-bag if you would."
Ironic, that something intended as a cast-off or a personal statement should end up as more cohesive and exciting than a great majority of major label pop machinations. Working in a futuristic strain of synth-pop and modern R&B, I would place the Ricca Vita EP between a very accomplished future pop statement and a hip-hop mix-tape. Part of the album's reason for being is as an early transmission, to be picked up and picked apart by DJs, MCs, and remixers.
Hip-hop mix-tape culture is one of the most exciting fronts of music, at this moment, in my opinion, being rife for rampant experimentation and personal statements, which used to be valued more in pop music.
Likewise, the pop aesthetic gives these songs a memorability with subtle but catchy hooks like on "Dirty Cop." It also brings a bit more heat to the atmospheric neo-R&B, which can be come off as unemotionally unavailable too much of the time - the aural equivalent of a four-year opiate dependency.
I truly hope Ricca Vita's splatter painting earns him a bunch of new listeners, as he's got songwriting and production chops for days. Those that like beats will be beating down the doors for this one, while people who love heart and heat will be playing through their cruiser bike Bluetooth speakers all summer long.
An outstanding, auspicious effort from a producer/musician to watch!
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