Wax’s latest release Continue brings the same confidence, and fluidity he presented when he first started to make waves on YouTube. The viral, indie wunderkind’s major label attempt might have been stalled, but he’s only back to where he belongs.
Noting Wax’s background as a band front man in the past, the album’s overall aural theme ties around catchy guitar riffs decorated with feel-good pop sentiments. Its display of casual deliveries, conversational anecdotes, with singsong hooks widely showcase the artist’s versatile musicality, while at the same time delving into hip-hop’s uncharted realms. Perhaps, a good mixture of Beastie Boys’ controlled rowdiness, and Gym Class Heroes’ easygoing humor, with hints of aggressive battle-rap brilliance (as exhibited on “Straight to Paradise”) is a fair way of summing up this project.
Continue clearly understands the audience it’s meant to reach. It grasps those who have regular nine-to-five jobs (“I’ve Worked So Hard”), girlfriend issues (“Rosana”), and life’s vices (“What’s Your Vice”) with Wax’s clear and unapologetic delivery. It’s a reputable batch of music that doesn’t compromise the artist’s talents, which makes it that much more appealing.
Like its predecessor Scrub Life, Continue is light on guest features. Two carefully placed appearances from frequent collaborator/twin brother Herbal T (“Lewis and Clark”) and Breezy Lovejoy (“Feels Good”) bring dynamic results, and stand as two of album’s highlights.
However, the overall sound’s congruency lacks much memorable occasions. It’s catchy, but not widely appealing. It’s easy-going, but comes off trite. It could’ve been a well-worthy major label effort, but it’s not. So the question is, what does Wax want? Well, as the title implies, he’ll Continue, whether or not a machine’s behind him. As long as he has his core fans that’s been riding for him, he’s good, and so will his music. —Kadeem Lundy (@KLunjuL9)