Album Review: FM! by Vince Staples
Finding space to deliver both traditional hip hop dynamics and signature finesse within a compact runtime, Vince Staples creates a free flowing and undeniably catchy collection with FM!
Structured within a FM radio show, FM! goes beyond gimmicky by using the chatter of “Big Boy’s Neighborhood” as effective transitions between tracks. Whether it’s Big Boy’s preamble of it “feeling like summer” off the top of opener, “Feels Like Summer,” or the stuttering soundboard hit of “N-N-New Earl Sweatshirt” on the brief interlude that teases listeners with a 20 second Sweatshirt verse, Staples and producer Kenny Beats find a way to incorporate the radio formatting between each track in a way that enhances rather than distracts from the project.
While solid throughout, the short runtime of the album along with the flurry of guest spots leaves something to be desired on FM!, as the album draws to a close just as it seems to settle in. Regardless, FM! is Staples’ most realized and consistent album to date, acting as a promising continuation of the MC’s’ rapidly expanding discography.
– Nathan Kunz