Photo Credit: Interscope
Trevor Daniel, 25, known for his breakout hit in 2018 “Falling” has officially released his debut album Nicotine. It has droplets of depth, thanks to the conscious choice of the artist opting to release only 10-songs. A wise decision, one might say, considering the album might not have been able to endure the appreciation it would have spent out if it was double the size. He settled for quality over quantity, and that has certainly paid off.
The opening number “Nicotine”, is much like the titular substance, producing a grounded but increasingly intoxicating vibe that lingers on throughout the project. It really has all the requirements of a hit pop song: catchy music, lyrics on a loop for you to remember, and soothing vocals provided by the artist. Following the title track comes the song “Lovesick”, where Daniel addresses the more subtle topic of love in his usual accessible way, this is where he gets to show his experience. He displays his ease and effortless approach with dealing with the pressure of love. This is one of those tracks that will endure the term “underrated” as the years pass by. While “Anymore” displays style over substance – vocally high on the chorus and low on verses, it still ends up being bland.
His next ballad “Things We Do For Love” simply oozes ‘80s music, channeling Lord Huron, and Travis Scott from our time. The song hits all the right strides when it comes to making us feel nostalgic. Heavily rhythmic and enjoyable, he continues to impress as we switch from one song to another. “All of That” turns out to be the perfect go-to song for a drive into the night. The song is comprised of a youthful melody followed by laidback vocals, which has basically become Trevor’s trademark. We are then transported to the more flirtatious, charming side of the artist with “OMG” – a sudden departure from his series of melancholic jingles. He pretty much describes a girl in a playful manner similar to the likes of Enrique Iglesias, Taio Cruz and Usher, but never goes overboard.
Marching towards the latter half of the album enters “Disaster.” It breaks the almost monotonous linear musical chronology and produces a distinct sound, which is more credited to the production team than the vocal leading it. It was far more natural and fresh from the musical point of things, although somewhat indistinguishable with the aforementioned “Anymore” when it comes to the lyricism.
The follow-up, “911” focuses on the spontaneous, intimidating attraction one feels when they first meet someone. To be blunt, the track loses its impact as soon as it finishes despite its free-flowing guitars and decent urban beats. However, then comes “Past Life,” where we see Daniel team-up with Finneas and Sean Myer. This song is a standout in terms of both lyrics and production. It is a delight to listen to him ascend from one scale to another. The self-analytical track is well written and executed to every inch of artistic fulfillment. It is the more matured of the songs, consisting of beats with modernity and melancholy in equal measure.
Now, one would think, what would be a fitting conclusion to this myriad of heartbreak, feel-good, and emo-friendly anthological narrative? Well, the answer is rather simple. Trevor Daniel ends it with what started his fame in the first place – “Falling.” It is of very importance for him to reach the end of this brief, 25-minute journey by revisiting the catalyst that made him reach this far. The track that has paved the way for him with its catchy, memorable chorus defining most of his music. From leaving his house in Houston three years ago due to Hurricane Harvey, to suddenly realizing his passion for music – it serves as a form of catharsis. All in all, the album is a quick, brief distraction for our mundane lives. It is certainly entertaining, well-produced and builds one’s intrigue to look forward to the singer’s long and promising career, but isn’t necessarily ground-breaking in any regard.