Benny Blanco is a well known figure in the music industry, and for “Friends Keep Secrets,” he used some of his clout to link the biggest stars of r&b, rap and pop together for seven enjoyable tracks.
3. I FOUND YOU
Surprisingly, Calvin Harris was one of my favorite features on this album. On “I Found You,” both him and Benny were able to create this exciting house record that features some strong singing from the famous producer (I’m assuming that’s him), and lots of adorable lyrics and feel-good vibes. I know many of you will consider the track corny, but for me, I love corny music!
Juice WRLD and Panic! At The Disco’s lead singer Brendon Urie are the key cogs on “Roses,” and together, the duo was able to create this emo pop record that has each of them opening up about finding a love that was ultimately bad for their health. Though Juice WRLD sings on this joint, his lyrics are pretty reckless, as he hurls insults at his chick and talks about his savage ways. Brandon is a lot safer with his approach, choosing to go the sappy route on his verse. All in all, I think the track is decent, and would’ve probably fit in nicely with all the other music on Goodbye & Good Riddance.
Juice WRLD’s music reminds me how sucky teenage love was.
Benny Blanco recruited Halsey and Khalid for the dance-hall inspired “Eastside.”
Benny Blanco is a smart guy. He knows that Khalid and Halsey are at their best when they are involved in some sort of duet, so why not get the two together to make a super duet, right? On “Eastside,” both soulful pop singers deliver, giving us this impassioned tune that has each of them getting heartfelt about their thoughtful lovers. I love the track for its vibes, and really like both Khalid and Halsey’s unique sounds blended together.
Halsey loves her a bad boy.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. EASTSIDE (5/5)
2. ROSES (4/5)
3. JUST FOR US, PT. 2 (3/5)
4. I FOUND YOU (4.5/5)
5. BETTER TO LIE (4/5)
6. MORE/DIAMOND RING (3.5/5)
7. BREAK MY HEART (4/5)
You know what this short project should remind you? How synonymous hip hop, pop, R&B and EDM has become. Each featured artists’ ability to morph into several different faces says a lot about where we are musically, and how stepping outside of the box is no longer something that is foreign in music. On more of a micro note, I thought Benny meshed together sappy love songs and electrifying ones masterfully, allowing for a short body of work that gets you in your feelings while also making you feel like taking back a couple of shots (Interesting, right?).
Benny put in some work in the industry, so it’s only fair that he gets his chance to shine with “Friends Keep Secrets.” I can tell his overwhelming experience played a major part in putting each artist in position to succeed, which should tell you how beneficial it can be to play the back in other artists’ studio sessions from time to time.