Album Review – Eric Bellinger, Choose Up Season

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Eric Bellinger brings us his new mixtape, Choose Up Season, to explain the process of going from single life to a relationship and then back to being single. However, what I love about this is that he numbers the songs chronologically to make a story. Here is his comment on the story of Choose Up Season:

“The single life in LA is wild. And the ‘CHOOSE UP’ can get very real. After you choose up, it’s time to leave the club and get your car from ‘VALET’ before continuing the turn up with a ‘HOUSE PARTY’ at the crib. If things go right, you know she’ll pulling out the ‘NIGHT BAG’ and talking to ‘THE PILLOW’ while the two of you become ‘NIGHT OWLS.’ However, it’s usually agreed upon in the beginning that the two of you will ‘NEVER BE TOGETHER’ and that things are just ‘CASUAL’ until one of them catches feeling and things instantly get ‘AWKWARD.’”

I think this is a cool concept, you get to experience the journey with the artist. Statement courtesy of ThisIsRnB.com. Choose Up Season is only a preview for Cuffin Season, Bellinger’s next project due for release early next year. Did we mention the mixtape was mixed by Swift, member of MIDI Mafia (featuring 50 Cent and Frank Ocean). Now let’s break this mixtape down track by track:

1. Choose Up – Eric Bellinger starts of his mixtape with some a great song featuring a solid beat produced by John $K and A-Major. The introduction is only a couple of minutes but has some sick bars from Bellinger’s singing. The end samples a conversation, not sure from where though. Still a decent track except for the odd finale. 9/10.

2. Valet ft. Pleasure P and Teeflii – Valet is the first real song on the track, and it makes an immediate impression. Bellinger’s vocals are impressive and Pleasure P also sings nicely. Unfortunately his verse seems a little misplaced with the beat. Definitely one of the better songs on the tape, has a lot of catchy parts to it, including the hook. 9.25/10.

3. House Party – While the beginning statement is a bit uncalled for, this song reminds me of a single released by Trey Songz. Sounds very similar to his RnB sound, and I mean that as a huge compliment. The hook is excellent and the voice-overs are beautiful. Probably my favorite song on the mixtape, seriously recommend a listen. Though the end is a bit annoying and vocals can sound a bit auto-tuned, but still great. 9.5/10.

4. Night Bag – This song is a bit fast for me, the lyrics seem crammed into the track. However it is still catchy and the beat is pretty original. Bellinger brought an all-star group of producers to help with the whole mixtape, which is evident on this one. The hook is a little weak but the song is still interesting. 8.25/10.

5. The Pillow – The start is oddly similar to Frank Ocean’s Thinking Bout You, but this song is the climax (no pun intended) of the night, as obvious from the lyrics. While the song is decent, it has an annoyingly repetitive hook and some over-editing. The beat is actually really nice though, and the bridge is definitely enjoyable. I still definitely like the song as a whole. 7.75/10.

6. Night Owls – Night Owls is a bit slower and smoother than the others, and features superb vocals from Bellinger. Has a very sick RnB flow and sound to it. The beat really goes with the mood of the song, and his voice is, though slightly over-edited, solid overall. 8.75/10.

7. Never Be Together – I really enjoy this song, except for the “Aye” every couple of seconds on the hook. Has a serious Chris Brown vibe to it. Good song overall except for some small nitpicking, such as the crammed lyrics (again) in the stanzas. Still a decent track. 9.25/10.

8. Casual ft. Teyana Taylor – I really love this song. No seriously, this is an incredible song. The impressive combination of his voice and the acoustic beat is pretty sick. Teyana Taylor sounds good with Bellinger, and though the repetitive hook can get to you, his sound can easily be compared to Usher. The phone call at the bridge and finale is a little annoying, but does not ruin the song. There is some serious talent provided throughout. 9.5/10.

9. Awkward – Already wrote about it.

So that averages to approximately 9/10, which is very good for a whole album. A mixtape no less! I seriously recommend a listen, time flies by when you’re enjoying quality work like this. All I can say is that I am pumped for Cuffin Season. Get a taste of Eric Bellinger below:

-Austin Heath

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