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The Growl

The student news site of Glenn High School

The Growl

The student news site of Glenn High School

The Growl

Review: Larger Than Life

Brent Faiyaz’s third album

Brent Faiyaz is a popular R&B artist from Columbia, Maryland. The start of his success began in 2016 when he featured in Goldlink’s single “Crew” which peaked at number 45 on the Billboard Top 100. “Larger Than Life” marks his third full-length album release he has produced, and is currently in the 9th slot for R&B/Hip-Hop on Billboard as of Nov. 30. After the success of “WASTELAND,” his second studio album was released in July, 2022. Anticipation was high for his next release, especially when Faiyaz dropped a trailer for the album hours before releasing it to the public on Oct. 27.


In this project, Faiyaz still maintains contemporary R&B as his core genre but with a faster pace throughout the entire album and a blend of heavy rap with features from A$AP Rocky and Babyface Ray. The album had two singles with tracks including “Moment of Your Life” that debuted along with the album assisted by Coco Jones and “WY@” which was released earlier this year on Sept.19. 


Tim’s Intro: A Timbaland produced track, Tim’s Intro opens with a dial up and chorus from Brent Faiyaz and Timbaland. “You ain’t seen it comin’, did you, baby? Nah,” says Timbaland, the line being a hint to the album as a surprise release. Halfway through the song switches from a dramatic violin and double bass to acoustic guitar from TLC’s “No Scrubs” adding the bass when Faiyez begins his first verse. Faiyaz is already confident in the beginning lines of his verse “I’m ninety-nine overall.” The rest of the song is the line “Larger than life” repeated until the song ends.


Last One Left: A reverb guitar and low bass set the base for the track which doesn’t change throughout the song though having the occasional feature from Missy Elliot and ending verse from Lil Gray. The song is about Faiyaz wanting to be with the girl but her being indecisive between him and her friends. The girl’s friends run their mouths about him and her because they’re jealous that all the men in their life are gone. She is essentially the “Last One Left” to have someone in their life. This song has bars like opening and ending verses from Faiyaz and Gray, but gets boring after the first couple minutes. I do enjoy the lyrics and the instrumental, but it feels dragged on.


Forever Yours: The mixed electronic beat and low bass blend really well together in this track. The song is about Faiyaz not knowing this girl too well, but he feels a new type of love since meeting her. Even though she’s a stranger to him, he thinks she’s perfect and wants to be hers. This song has an experimental electronic beat, going back to his SoundCloud roots which is pretty cool to hear.


Best Times: Deep drums lead into another experimental beat which to me sounds like Galaga. The song is about the girl Faiyez has been talking to, and how she’s the prettiest girl he’s seen after traveling the globe. He’s never stayed in relationships, but he’s conflicted on whether he should for this girl. This song has another experimental electronic beat, this one more upbeat in tempo and in pitch, and the deep drums are also something that gives the song more volume.


Moment Of Your Life: An acoustic guitar with snares and a light low bass layout and continues throughout the track. This love song, featuring Coco Jones, shows trust and love in a relationship. This song is more calm than the rest of the album, but feels unfinished as the guitar loop just gets repetitive near the end.


Outside All Night: A high pitched violin and low tempo bass opens with a chorus from Faiyaz and then switches to a higher tempo bass when feature N3WYRKLA starts her post chorus. The song keeps that tempo when feature A$AP Rocky starts cooking in the first verse, kind of overshadowing Faiyaz. The song is about Faiyaz wanting this girl, but her being cautious, he’ll drop her like the rest. Like the intro, the violin and deep bass really makes this song come together, especially during the features being their verse and chorus. Overall, this was a solid modern rap R&B song. 


Wherever I Go: This song plays a soulful melancholic instrumental with acoustic guitar with light drums as the background for the song. Faiyaz goes on a late night drive reflecting on a girl from his past and how he’s regretting. He sees her everywhere because she’s often on his mind. This melancholic song is beautiful and shows Faiyaz’ feelings.


Upset: Juxtaposing the previous song, this track shows Faiyaz being stoic and how him and his features, FELIX and Tommy Richman, just don’t feel anything. This appealing, high tempo song has electric piano and deep bass that really makes the verse’s have volume. The features from this song pair well with the chorus and really add to the song. This is a reflection of the Neo Soul that Faiyaz has been into.


On This Side: This song has solid bars right from the start from feature A$AP ANT. Faiyaz goes in the middle of the verses with the chorus. Feature Cruddy Murda just flows right into the song highlighting the struggles of success. The futuristic Neo Soul sound having the tempos high with the verses and low with the chorus makes it really come together at the ending chorus with all three artists at the end.


Belong To You: This futuristic soul song is about a conflicted relationship where they say they’re done with each other but end up coming back to each other. This song just has a lot of flow, not only with the low tempo beats, but with the lyrics. Babyface Ray really makes this track and feels more like a Brent Faiyaz feature. The chorus on this track sounds like Babyface Ray is underwater. 


WY@: Produced by Antione Walters, this is the most popular track on the album, releasing as a single in mid September when Faiyaz was on tour. Faiyaz repeats in the song about how he can’t go back to this relationship, which relies on lust and manipulation because he knows it’s not him, and how he’s through with the relationship. The beats on this track flow really well, especially when the instrumental breaks everything, blending together with the deep bass to create solid R&B. Originally BB Trickz had verses on this, but later removed as she mispronounced a word in Spanish. This song feels essential in this album, saving the best for (next to) last. 


Pistachios: Soft piano chords lead into a deep sonder song as the chorus of this final song plays with Faiyaz feeling into his wealth in this track. This song is just about Faiyaz’s uncertainty with this girl he’s in love with, seeming to be a common theme in the album. Faiyaz makes this closure smooth, ending the song with instrumentals slowly fading. 

Overall, this album doesn’t match up to his previous work. Some songs don’t really stick, and I tend to just forget them mainly because they just feel unfinished or limp. This should’ve been a shorter mixtape rather than a full length album, as there are songs here that do stand out.

— John Romeo

Overall, this album doesn’t match up to his previous work. Some songs don’t really stick, and I tend to just forget them mainly because they just feel unfinished or limp. This should’ve been a shorter mixtape rather than a full length album, as there are songs here that do stand out. But I feel quality over quantity should be considered, as a mixtape would’ve been better to show off the quality tracks that are on this album. For only about a 40 minute run time, the listener might anticipate it feeling short, but with some tracks dragging, it feels longer. This album has its flaws, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. I’d give it a rating of 3 out of 5 stars.