Are We There Yet?
Lil Silva’s background speaks volumes about his musical prowess. At only 24 years old, the London-based producer already has 15 years of musical experience under his belt. In that time, he’s carved out a nice niche in the UK music world and made himself known as a highly prolific artist, constantly sketching out new tracks and flipping records like pancakes. The problem with being prolific, however, is that it doesn’t really matter.
What producer doesn’t have catacombs filled with tracks and a discography longer than War and Peace? Quality trumps quantity every day of the week, and if an artist’s work isn’t exciting — well, then no one’s really going to care how much of it he’s made. Case in point, Mabel. Lil Silva’s latest EP smacks of professionalism and expert song-crafting. It combines a heavy low-end push with light and airy R&B tones, and achieves an ultimately pleasant effect that no open-minded listener would find offensive. Silva’s melodies move freely and naturally, and he imbues a tender ambience on slower, vocal-driven songs like “Right for You,” a collaboration with L.A. singer Banks. Sure, it’s good. But is it exciting?
There’s no shortage of great musicians in the world. The number of songs floating around is practically infinite — count them like the stars in the sky. Some shine bright and brilliant, while others fade fizzle. Mabel‘s star is dim. Five tracks of techy hip-hop/R&B fusion waft through the speakers in under 20 minutes without ever really making anything happen. Were this a full-length album, you’d be expecting things to kick into top gear right around the title track, “Mabel.” After this song passes and the EP shuts down five minutes later, however, you’re left bewildered by an odd silence. Silva treads so lightly that you may not even notice the record is over.
Is it good? Sure. Exciting? Not in the least. Mabel is a bit of a snore, like a roller coaster that pulls you halfway up and then tells you it’s over. There’s no drop, no thrill, no real excitement, and certainly no climax. With his ability, Silva can definitely create something great, but all we have here is a reminder that he’s still making music.