There are two facets of music that are notably difficult to do, let alone do well - the craft of funk-driven R&B and the art of the concept album. With SUGA, Kyle Dion handles both the art of funk-fueled R&B and the concept album with an arresting, exceptional prowess. The long-awaited sophomore studio album from the Los Angeles-based R&B crooner is more than a phenomenal sophomore outing; it is a veritable journey into the psyche of SUGA.
Suga, our titular title character, serves as Dion's alter ego and vehicle for thirteen tracks of immaculately produced, soulful R&B. Opening on the larger-than-life "On Fire," we are introduced to a Suga at his apex. It is an exhilarating introduction the world of SUGA that surges with all grandiosity of a live stadium album. Yet, it is not these electrifying highs that cement SUGA as a phenomenal album, but the way in which it balances these otherworldly highs with its more tender of moments.
Striking a profound balance between the enveloping warmth of a near-perfect R&B studio album and the tumultuous journey of its title character, Dion is able to explore his creative breadth in a scope we have yet to see before. In exploring Suga's inner battles with his demons as he grapples with his rise to fame, Dion lends his buttery, airy vocals to tracks that hold an impressive emotional gravity. Upon leaving the world of SUGA, we are left with one lingering thought: Will this be the project to catapult this R&B visionary to fame?
Listen to SUGA below:
For more from Kyle Dion, revisit a jaw-dropping performance of the R&B crooner performing "Brown" at our Baño Flaco showcase.