Review: Syd – Fin

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Effortlessly cool

Is it too early to say this is my favourite R&B album of the year? It's just so good. SO good.

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For Syd, Fin represents “an in-between thing” to “maybe get a song on the radio, maybe make some money, have some new shit to perform” in a little pause from The Internet, the five-piece Odd Future spin-off she fronts. However, it’s clear she had nothing to worry about: bringing together her influences from hip-hop to R&B to neo-soul with her impressive songwriting and production from the likes of MeLo-X makes it a debut that oozes confidence, showcasing precisely what her vocals are capable of over 12 slick tracks.

The effortlessly cool sound of the album is juxtaposed with lots of self doubt – her opening line: “I’m drowning in doubt and frustration / Can’t sleep ’cause I’m anxious” – but some self-assuredness shines through. Later, Fin is an explosion of pride in sexuality, bringing the topic to the forefront without overdoing things on ‘Got Her Own’ and the stunningly intimate ‘Body.’ Her cool exterior shows cracks when singing about unrequited affections (‘Insecurities’), yet it channels a retro Destiny’s Child vibe with a challenge to the boundaries of ‘90s-style R&B.

Fin is the smoothest, sexiest, most painfully cool album you will hear this year. Its blending of sounds and influences feels experienced, and there’s a depth which is so often missing in the crowded genre as she layers gorgeous, weightless vocals over funky beats whilst mixing tempos and styles for a delightful auditory experience. Irresistibly groovy without necessarily redefining any facet of R&B, Syd combines all of your R&B loves whilst singing about whatever she wants to.

Fin is out now via Columbia

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Second year PAIR student and live editor. Fan of cats, tea lover, can be found rambling about politics and cats at @_Carly_May on Twitter.

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