AZEB - EP by Mereba hits all the right notes
By Timothy Moss
Mereba, the infamous "Sandstorm" artist, released her extended play album titled "AZEB" in May of this year. This is the fourth release in the discography of the R&B artist, who is signed to Interscope records.
This project starts off with the track "Aye," which features some angelic soft piano chords, low tone synths here and there, and in and out heavy 808s. Her vocals come in with the chorus over quiet finger snaps on two and four taking over the main groove for the entire song. This track is percussion-less. The instrumentation through the 808s and piano keep the feel and drive. Peace and love are the essence and theme present throughout this entire body of work. The intro track sets the mood for the rest of what you're going to be put through for seven tracks.
The next song "Rider" has the gorgeous harp theme that repeats itself with a dancehall percussion feature. A small orchestra in the background brings more light to the complexion of the music alongside the basic bass guitar notes played here and there. When the chorus comes in with her multiple voice effects the 808s come in present and strong to back up the vocals. This track is simply talking about having a special someone that you can depend on from a physical and spiritual level. A perfect representation song for peaceful, loving relationships.
The next song "Beretta" is one of my personal favorite tracks on this EP because I love the acoustic guitar chords with Mereba's soft vocal lines on top of a steady low undertone happening throughout the track. Rhythmic claps happen that just makes you nod your head right when the song starts so you can feel the steady groove automatically. This is another song about true love, and about finding someone that fulfills all your needs. Basically, another ride or die song. Quick note, one of the things that I love about this project is its consistency with the sound. I love how all these songs have the same tempo and mood, but they are each different in their own way even if the content is repetitive in a sense.
"Another Kin" is a quick mood track with a beautiful orchestra and those low volume claps keeping the rhythmic meter. This track felt like an interlude in my opinion simply because it's the shortest song and it's the same content as the other songs-- just with more poetic filled lyrics. It's my least favorite but I still enjoy the energy that the song gives off in keeping with the consistency of the rest of the EP.
Now the next track "News Come" is probably one of my favorite songs of 2021. That guitar riff theme is so smooth and seamless yet soothing. The added violins and synths making small appearances around the instrumental is impressive. Mereba just has a way with words that makes you believe she knows what she is talking about in a calm orderly way. Her vocal ability is legendary on this song, and yes, I'm exaggerating, but that's how much I love the song. That chorus is perfect and is one of my favorite chorus' in life right now.
The one take away from this song is that it changes to a completely different key and chord that made me a little frustrated. I wanted to keep hearing that first half on repeat. I love how the content of this track dives a little into some racial aspects and third eye perspectives.
When she sings "Freedom for my people is urgent, tell me who are you serving, tell em all the facts and they curve'em," she is talking about the history of African Americans in this country. She is singing about how our history got so whitewashed to the point that this generation can't even learn about how much power we had as a united people year and years go.
The next track "Go(l)d" is all right. It gives off a bliss summertime vibe with the positive, bright sounding instrumental and minimal drums. I like the chorus though. "Do you believe in gold, in gold, in gold." It always makes me answer, "Yes I believe it and love it."
And then the last track "My Moon" is definitely one of my favorites on this EP and is a great closure. Mereba lowers her vocals a little to a darker tone that makes it mysterious and drowsy like. To be honest I don't know what she is talking about in this song, I do know the Astrology reference in her chorus hits the spot every time.
"Sun in Cancer, Sun in Cancer, Sun in Cancer." I am a Cancer so this just hits different for me. But I do know this is a love reference as well because she mentions that "you're my moon" specifically talking about someone of course. Overall, Mereba definitely delivered with this project and I think it has a high probability to be inducted into the top R&B projects of this year. Anybody can resonate with this project, it's calm, delightful, and just a good vibe.
Timothy Moss is a mass communications major and member of the Marching Wildcats Band