(By Ashley Flamenco)
(Photo from Atlantic Records)
Crush is the R&B romance-comprised work of soulful singer Ravyn Lenae and executive producer Steve Lacy. The record was released right on time, just a few days before Valentine’s Day. It’s the perfect music to listen to, not only on the Day of Love but, if you’re in an amorous mood or in your “feels.” The collection of love ballads include Ravyn’s wide-ranged vocals and Steve’s groovy instrumentals, running through all the different types of love and relationships one can have and the passionate emotions felt in them.
The EP begins with its first and only single, “Sticky,” a song centering around one being glued to and unable to step away from a partner who treats them badly. This is otherwise known as a toxic relationship, which Ravyn describes as “sticky-icky.” The track is introduced by a hooking glide of a keyboard and is eventually accompanied by lo-fi guitar riffs that are easily identifiable as Steve Lacy. Containing a disco-esque vibe and higher-pitched vocals, “Sticky” is probably the most upbeat song on the record.
“Closer (Ode 2 U)” describes feelings of infatuation that often come before a relationship and display what it’s like to crush hard on someone, this may be referring to the innocent puppy love that is typically felt among adolescents. The track is joined by sensual sounding guitar and contains a lot of passionate “woooos” and “whys” where Ravyn questions why she feels this burning “love.”
“Computer Luv,” one of two songs on the EP featuring Steve’s vocals, is about an intimate online long-distance relationship; both partners long to see and be with each other but at the same time question whether their feelings are true since the two have yet to meet in person. The two sing “when will I meet you/ I’m down to see you/ I wanna see you right now” in unison — the yearning and desire are felt deeply through the duets and soft passionate singing. Ending off “Computer Luv” is a heartfelt voicemail from Ravyn’s online lover.
Contrary to other tracks on the record that celebrates intimate relationships, “The Night Song,” is a wonderful ode to the most important relationship, the relationship with yourself. It explores the fact that one’s happiness shouldn’t be relied on someone else, as it explores being single and being content with oneself: “I wanna be no one but me/ And all I really need is my own company,” making “The Night Song” a sweet serenade to oneself.
The EP ends with “4 Leaf Clover,” where Ravyn and Steve sing back and forth to each other. The two converse, opening up about feelings of jealousy and fears of commitment and ruining a close friendship. One partner trusts that a romantic relationship is meant to be between the two meanwhile the other believes that it will only go wrong.
Whether you’re deeply infatuated with yourself or someone else, Crush, an affectionate work of art infused with passionate singing and funky yet amorous instrumentals, is a great record to listen to. And with both artists seemingly having similar visions with their sounds, Crush, although only consisting of 5 songs, has proven Ravyn Lenae and Steve Lacy to be a perfect duo.