Kaytranada’s debut album 99.9% propelled him from his Soundcloud days into a genre-defying album that I constantly find myself returning to.
The album hardly sticks to a pattern, with “TRACK UNO” doubling back and bending over and over. It sets the stage perfectly for the rest of the album, which out of all 15 tracks only has 4 without a feature. This isn’t to say these tracks are lacking- “LITE SPOTS” samples Gal Costa’s ‘Pontos De Luz’, a 70’s Brazilian pop-hit, in a way that is catchy and groovy with the vocals perfectly highlighting the beat underneath it.
The texture this provides is captivating, making it one of my favorite tracks of the album. Kaytranada is famous for his ability to flawlessly cut and mix samples that form the most inviting sounds I’ve ever heard.
Starting with an almost eerie sound to it, “GLOWED UP” featuring Anderson .Paak packs a hypnotizing rhythmic flow that really brings out what both Kay and .Paak are capable of together. The first time I heard this song I couldn’t stop listening to it. It’s one of those songs you forget exists and when you do come back to it, you remember how amazing it was when you first found it and it plays on constant rotation again. At least, that’s what I’ve been doing the last few weeks.
“BULLETS” featuring Little Dragon ends the album on a somewhat abrupt stop but not underwhelming. Little Dragon’s vocals flow perfectly throughout the track as they carry us through to the end.
Not musically based but worthy of a shoutout as well is the cover art for 99.9%. Done by Ricardo Cavolo, his work perfectly captures the over-saturated, warm and vibrant feel of the entire album. The visuals Cavolo uses perfectly match how the album feels as a whole to me, giving it this psychedelic funky appearance parallel to the sounds of the album.
Side note- if you enjoy the album’s cover art, Cavolo’s book titled “101 Artists to Listen to Before You Die” is absolutely worth checking out.
Written by Audrey Nelson