Disclaimer: All views presented in this EP Review are those of the reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O
Yaves is back! It has been a year and half since Yaves dropped his last studio album Favor over Fury. This isn’t really that long of a time but Yaves has stayed out of the spotlight since his last release, and there has been a lot of music out since then. So it feels much longer than it really is. Either way, it’s good to have a vet back behind the mic, especially one as accomplished and talented as Yaves is.
Throughout his rather long career, Yaves has delivered great music both as Yaves and as The Street Pastor. He has done collaborations with some of the best artists in the genre, started a label (Slingshot Media Group) and really put on for the Indie CHH scene.
Now he has recently dropped the third installment of an EP series he’s been doing since 2011, with his latest EP entitled In Winters Ear. The expectations are high and the anticipation for what Yaves will bring to the table this go around is just as high. He’s proven to be a good lyricist and one of the more creative artists in the genre, but what exactly will In Winters Ear have to offer CHH fans?
Artistically, In Winters Ear really shines. Yaves creates a very unique listening experience that entertains the listener while also stimulating them intellectually. The unique and enjoyable experience that Yaves creates begins with the feel of the record. He plays on the winter theme and sonically creates a listening experience that feels like winter. This is a smooth and mellow sounding record. He mixes drums with a soft melody that almost soothes the listener.
The production on In Winters Ear is insanely creative and clever. It also creates the perfect scenario to let his lyricism shine, and shine it does. Even within the short timeframe, Yaves was able to use his lyricism to inspire, uplift, and motivate. This record did not just have Yaves showing how talented he is, as every bar had a purpose and a meaning. He used this record to say something to people. That separates it from a lot of other projects that are out. Lyrically, it is a very socially conscious record. It aims to make people better.
From a spiritual perspective, it’s not a typical “Christian” record. There aren’t too many overt references to Christ but it is smothered in biblical perspective and understanding, which ultimately points towards Christ. This isn’t a record that will grow you theologically or really dive into any theological principles. It’s a more practical view or application of the gospel.
“Revolver” feat. Keisha Solei — This is the only track on the record to be accompanied by a video so far. It kicks off with some soulful singing and then Yaves jumps on and rips it. What makes it even better is the content where he attacks some cultural norms and thought processes. That depth provides the track with tremendous playback value.
“Chains and Whips” (Interlude) — This is a throwback to The Street Pastor. It has a mixtape feel to it. There is a perfect mix of a smooth melody and hard bass, and Yaves rides the beat perfectly. This track can be a constant replay for a long time.
“Blood Covered Snow” feat. Ron Riley — There is a more futuristic melody with this track, and the singing that accompanies it matches the opening tone of the track well. But what makes this song great is the intimacy the listener gets with Yaves. It’s a slow melody and the drums don’t come in for awhile, and that allows the listener to take in every bar. Yaves knocks this song out of the park lyrically.
In the world we live in today, In Winters Ear is very relevant. It also brings a great perspective of the world to Christians and non-christians alike. If you’re the type of CHH fan that likes the artist to deal with, discuss, and break deep intellectual principles, then this won’t be the record for you. If you like music with a positive, Christ influenced record that may not be overtly Christian, then you will love In Winters Ear.
Overall, In Winters Ear is a very solid record from Yaves. There isn’t much that will blow you away, but it is very good music that is easy to listening to and is challenging. Because it is an EP it will definitely leave the listener wanting more, but in this sense, that could be a positive. This record will remind fans how much of a special talent Yaves is and build more anticipation for the record that hopefully is coming soon.
In Winters Ear is now available for purchase on iTunes.