Rapper duo Young Goats release new album Goat Life Vol.1 amongst a distinct, summery vibe and a mix of styles and genres.
Los Angeles based Hip-hop artists Young Goats love the sun. That’s apparent from the very first track and then throughout new record Goat Life Vol.1. The record, at times, almost feels like a homage to all the different styles that hip-hop has incorporated over the years as the duo mix this all up in a breezy vibe of beats, bass and a taste for the over-exuberant.
Welcome to the Goat Life opens with reverberating synths that gradually build amongst dulled vocals and synth-laden voices. The duo takes on the opener amongst summer-tinged sounds that wouldn’t feel out of place at a beach party. The vocals manage to find hooks throughout the track but there are a few instances where diction could be improved. The drones are tailored by the rapper’s instinctive voices and a welcome breakdown section splits the track apart.
Beautiful ups the reggae vibes as Young Suave and Goaty join forces and take turns to rap around up-beat, sun-tinged lyrics with a sense of camaraderie throughout. This light and airy vibe continues on Take You With Me as lyrics of having good times in Miami and living the high life fly throughout the track: “Woah, let me come right back, packing up my feelings and I didn’t even bring a bag”. It’s all said with a sense of ‘tongue in cheek’ which comes off well, even if, once again, there are a couple of areas where the pace of the lyrics make the words trip over themselves a little.
As the record progresses we see a few more styles thrown into the music. L.A Chick features an addictive Lo-fi hip-hop beat that is one of the strongest on the record. Catch My Vibe takes ideas from pop for the beats and melodies with definite hints towards Big Boi’s Speakerboxxx. They’ve even thrown in a little funk and dance to the mix which makes for an intriguing and well-layered track.
Too Nervous sees Young Suave taking lead as we’re back to a more dancehall vibe that is littered with strong breakdowns and build up sections, whereas Dubai For The Weekend speaks of all the luxury and overindulgence you’d expect from a track with this name. The record ends with Better Than Them, ducking and weaving between rising synths and beats that have a strong bass hook underneath and would sound at home in a nightclub at 1 am.
Goat Life Vol.1 manages to impress in its beats and energy all wrapped up in a passionate and summery sound. The lyrics have flashes of brilliance but can also wane in areas, due to the over-complication and pace of the track that sometimes feels like the rappers are playing catchup with the words. This doesn’t take away from the party atmosphere, however, with the duo singing of a life spent in the sun amongst heavy beats, driving bass lines and, in places, a clever mix of styles. Young Goats have the potential to go higher, and Goat Life Vol.1 is a good jumping point for where to go next.
By Jamie Parmenter