Working for years to perfect the sound on his debut EP, Ninety had much to prove. Rare Gem is a clear showcase for Ninety’s knack for stellar melodies and sonic cohesion.
Releasing stellar singles of admirable quality, it soon became apparent that a body of work was needed to solidify his place as one of the most talented Artistes on the underground scene.
“Rare Gem” delivers on this promise in leaps and bounds.
The opener, “Hold My Side” is a perfect piece of smooth Afro-pop. “Buttercup” is a groovy jam designed for a breezy evening out. “Kiss and Tell” is an absolute ball, replete with Amapiano and an instantly catchy melody. It is by far the most commercial record on this EP, yet does not feel out of this place on this predominantly mellow project. The lead single, “Diamonds” is reminiscent of Asake’s recent work with choirs and crowd vocals, only perhaps better? It is the best song on the record.
“Skip To My Lou” is another groovy banger and perhaps the most raunchy song on the record. Songs like “Maintaining Beauty” and “Wants and Needs” might appear weak, but they’re not; The first 5 songs are just particularly perfect. Every song is a gem.
It’s important to note the excellence of the A&R work on this record, as well. Giving the EP its best shot, they shift the less gratifying songs to the tail end of the record. It’s an extra effort to ensure an already stellar effort.
In all, “Rare Gem” is a clear showcase for Ninety’s knack for stellar melodies and sonic cohesion. It’s only May, but it is the EP of the year, so far.