ALBUM: Wow... That’s Crazy
BEST TRACKS: Sue Me, Cliché, Expectations, BGM, On Chill, Routine, Love Me Nina / Semiautomatic, 50 In Da Safe, Set You Free, Pole Dancer
WORST TRACKS: Debbie
SCORE: 7.5 - 8/10
I’ve never liked Wale’s music: he always struck me as an artist who made good singles for the radio, but whose albums weren’t really good. When, “Wow... That’s Crazy” came along, I went into it with some trepidation. To put it bluntly though, this album is pretty good, and the first project I’ve heard from Wale I can say that about. The musical influences present here include everything from R&B to dancehall to rap. “Sue Me” has this alt-R&B / gospel feel to it, with some transcendent choral background vocals & a lyrical onslaught from Wale. “Cliché” features a gorgeous hook from Ari Lennox, and smooth flows by Wale over some vintage old-school-esque production. “Expectations” featuring 6LACK is a cold-blooded yet smooth R&B banger with endless replay value. “On Chill” with Jeremih is a dope collaboration with great production that reminds me of R&B hits from the past (the sample intertwined through the track is from “Ask Of You” by Raphael Saadiq). “Love Me Nina / Semiautomatic” pays homage to the legendary singer Nina Simone, with Wale reflecting on black excellence, the Trump presidency, and his inward struggles as a hiphop artist. “Set You Free” is a beautiful & uplifting track with amazing vocals from Kelly Price, and great verses from Wale (“I’m drinking more to think less, it’s true/Liquor becomes a crutch, can’t stand next to you”). The album ends with a bang on “Pole Dancer” featuring Megan Thee Stallion: the production hits hard from start to finishes, and Megan demolishes her verse. A couple tracks on the album could have been better, “Debbie” being the chief example. It feels like a cheesy reprise of “BGM”, and Wale sounds very out of place on the instrumental. I also wish that “Love... (Her Fault)” featuring Bryson Tiller had been a little better, as the production is rather underwhelming. Overall though, this album was a pleasant surprise, and I can finally say that there’s a Wale album out there that I enjoy.