For an album created in some part by twenty-some people from different bands and genres, Relayted is surprisingly cohesive. On the first listen this is not quite apparent, with many different vocalists contributing, invoking a multitude of styles and feelings, it came off as anything but cohesive. However after giving the record a few spins, a certain vibe seems to emanate from its every note. That vibe is what I like to call “love-making slow jams”, or “how I learned to stop listening to records from 40 years ago whenever I get down and dirty”. Certainly not every song (or any) is on the level of Marvin Gaye, but without fail Relayted will make you want to get freaky. The talent on the record comes from many sources, from rapper POS to indie icon Justin Vernon, but it’s the production of Ryan Olson that makes it all come together and flow smoothly.
Though the album is a smooth ride from start to finish, there are some definite highlights. The world’s introduction to GAYNGS, “Gaudy Side of Town” is also the first track, and an infectious one at that. It’s obvious from the first lines that this is nothing like what we’ve heard from many of the artists involved. The song takes its time to build, and when you think it’s over, a snare hits and the beat returns for more grooving. Other highlights include “Cry”, with its uber-catchy chorus, and the second singe “Faded High” likely the most danceable song on the record.
The record ends on the particularly ironic “Last Prom on Earth” with faux-R&B lines like “would you hustle, would you bring me home some bread?/maybe I’ll just get baked here in bed” softly spoken between refrains of “This will be our last prom/only little love songs” with tinges of auto-tune. It gets even better, and after a lull during which an invitation to have “just me and you, one last prom” the song takes back off into an R. Kelley inspired break-down, with some ultra-falsetto, sped-up pillow talk. The dreamy synth line and buttery smooth saxophone fade out, and you’re left with that satisfied feeling that usually only comes from the end of a much more aerobic activity lasting just under an hour.