Sampha’s “Lahai” offers an emotional rollercoaster for your ears.
5. Stereo Colour Cloud (Shaman’s Dream)
What a beautiful mind f**k.
A lot goes on in “Stereo Colour Cloud (Shaman’s Dream).” You hear aliens, bizarre piano notes, unorthodox tempos, random women, beat skips, and more in this song. Under the chaos, Sampha delivers one of his most infectious and touching vocal performances. It’s beautiful to listen to.
“Only” was a great first single for this album.
In “Only,” Sampha’s lyrics delve into his life and experiences. He touches on moments of uncertainty regarding his purpose (“Still here, only God knows why”), yearning for serenity (“Dreams of a beach with a house behind”), and pondering the swift pace of life. The song’s production features sunny vibes, touching piano keys, and rhythmic hi-hats, all while Sampha delivers this laidback and free-spirited singing style.
Among all the tracks on this album, this one holds the most commercial appeal.
3. Dancing Circles
This song deserves five stars for Sampha’s use of the word “wahala” alone.
“Dancing Circles” blends nimbleness with passion and a hint of laid-back vibes. The production’s feverish tempo, which gives me Phantom Opera vibes, sets the stage for Sampha to deliver an emotionally charged vocal performance. In the song, he expresses the overwhelming sensation of reuniting with someone he missed, capturing the complex feelings that come with such a moment.
2. Spirit 2.0
This is R&B gold.
I can feel my soul melting in real-time while listening to “Spirit 2.0.” The song boasts an atmospheric instrumental that unfolds beautifully, accompanied by Sampha’s pure and captivating vocals. In terms of lyrics, Sampha conveys a message about embracing fearlessness and finding solace in spiritual guidance. It’s a mindset worth adopting.
1. What If You Hypnotise Me? (Ft. Léa Sen)
Welp, I ended up being hypnotized, so now what?
In “What If You Hypnotise Me?,” Sampha seeks assistance in comprehending why “raindrops” seem to coincide with happier moments and why he struggles to discover tranquility in circumstances that ought to provide it. I admire how he conveys desperation and hope throughout the track, skillfully navigating the hazy and mesmerizing instrumental that supports his vocals.
Léa Sen contributes supplementary vocals towards the end of the track, infusing a soothing ambiance that is a delightful listening experience. Her presence undeniably aids in guiding those who feel lost to discover answers.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. Stereo Colour Cloud (Shaman’s Dream) (4.5/5)
2. Spirit (5/5)
3. Dancing Circles (5/5)
4. Suspended (4.5/5)
5. Satellite Mind (4/5)
6. Jonathan L. Seagull (4/5)
7. Inclination Compass (Tenderness) (4.5/5)
8. Only (4.5/5)
9. Time Piece (N/A)
10. Can’t Go Back (4/5)
11. Evidence (4/5)
12. Wave Therapy (N/A)
13. What If You Hypnotise Me? (5/5)
14. Rose Tint (4/5)
It’s truly remarkable how Sampha masterfully combines unconventional sounds with lyrics that resonate on a profoundly relatable level. While exploring Lahai, I was intrigued and captivated by the diverse elements in the instrumentals, which added a layer of complexity to the music. Sampha’s poetic lyrics addressing self-awareness, love, and spirituality were thought-provoking and emotionally resonant. Deciphering the intricacies of his work and connecting with his experiences created a rewarding listening experience. Sampha’s exceptional vocals and extraordinary melodies further enhance the album’s engaging quality. Lahai is undoubtedly a must-listen.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.