Benny Blanco brought some friends along for the ride.
We hope 2019 brings more producer-lead albums because we got yet another heater this past weekend from Benny Blanco. A staple in the game for over almost a decade behind the boards and bringing a pen to pad, this was his first time stepping out fully into the limelight and FRIENDS KEEP SECRETS did not disappoint.
A nod to Kanye West whom he has previously collaborated with, Blanco delivered just seven songs and divulged his intent to update the album whenever he sees fit in a conversation with Apple Music. We’ll totally be selfish here and welcome another seven or more, but this initial selection was sufficient. Combining various different sounds and artists from different walks, the 30-year-old created a musical buffet for all ears to enjoy.
Khalid and Halsey kick it off with pulsating vocals over the pop-R&B smash “Eastside” that features composition work from Ed Sheeran. It’s bouncy, but Khalid brings some soul to the table. Juice WRLD and Brendon Urie combine for the alternative-rap cut “Roses.” Urie’s tantalizing vocals and the 808s and hi-hats just feel like they belong together.
A clear standout would have to be “More/Diamond Ring”, a two-part track featuring Ty Dolla $ign and 6LACK that we’re gonna call the “SICKO MODE” of R&B songs. Dramatic, but the way their individual parts work together despite them not collaborating or harmonizing is a bit disturbing. Swae Lee, Calvin Harris, Jesse and Ryan Beatty all also join the fun, with Cashmere Cat contributing a bunch of the production work.
If benny saying the album is a work in progress is a ploy to keep us interested, it’s working. Seeing who else he brings together and what sound he brings out of them is a worthwhile time commitment after what we got here. Check out FRIENDS KEEP SECRETS below.