Yuri Koller is a Toronto based vocalist, songwriter, and producer. His latest effort, Open Doors, came to us via a short sweet email from the man himself. It is a mashup of hiphop, RnB, and soul. Personally, I struggled to find any soul esque notes in his music, hence it just being a contemporary R&B album. If you miss the 90s era, his music re-ignites that vibe effortlessly.
In terms of production, his crew consisting of Cxaleb,SE7N, Oliver Grey, Korruption, and the Masterminds and Nexus Movement, went hard in the paint for him. Both Kai and I were impressed with their professional efforts. Shourr ourrs to dem! Overall, it is a very well produced and cohesive sophomore project. Apparently, this cutie has been on his grind for a minute...Nyhoo, journey with me as I review, and let's see whether he gets a (-) to the nth power, or an (A*) rating.
[Free download] here
Open Doors is a sensual invite to come share in his sophomore project. The stage is set with piano keys playing softly in the background. He gets his 50 cent on talking about, ‘it’s either I make it or die trying’. Obviously he is talking about his hustle and grind, music!
This transitions beautifully to the head nodding induced beats of Ride. There are rock elements throughout, but they are not overwhelming to the RnB essence of the track; which is soothing to the soul and takes you soaring above the clouds. It’s the kind of track you cruise to when you want to reflect on life, and want to “ignore anything in your way” to success.
Off & On, is mellow track with melodic effects in the opening which Kai could care less for which sets the mood for the groovy beat that kicks in immediately after. There is an old school Memphis bluesy feel, sprinkled over the place that is reminiscent of Justin Timberlake’s signature style of doing runs [I think that’s what they are called]. You know that lil thang he does when he sings, crescendos while fading in and out, yes-that! In this song, he croons about almost having a picture perfect relationship, that never quite reaches its potential. Apparently, there are some things this lady does that turn him off a lot, and sometimes on.
There are a record, four interludes, interspersed throughout the album. Clutch is the first, and oh so unnecessary-waste of album space! Urrgh. So, do not like it, one bit. Makes me feel like pulling hairs.
Go, is the continuation from Off &On, which is rudley interrupted by the interlude! This joint is on point. Yo! In it, he finally cuts her for good, as she has been holding him off for too long. There is a sense of urgency created on this track with the groovy uptempo hip-hop beats, that signal his need to move on. The icing on the cake, are the random Rick Ross grunts in the background. Ya’ll know I loovvvvve me the yet to be officially named Victoria Secret model,
correctional officer thug grunts.
Drive is a raw and gritty hip-hop cut. His voice, softens it all out though. It seems as though he keeps finding himself in this precarious relationship situations, which stunt any sort of progress. Here, they clearly have feelings for each other, but keep switching from lovers and friends. Talk about not knowing what they want. In Sweet Brown’s word’s, ” Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
Take Control, starts with what sounds like xylophone instrumentals. I felt the production was a bit overwhelming on this set. They came on too strong, with this joint. It’s a sex song, which I didn’t care to listen too. Typical.
Amber is a soothing contrast to the overtopdotcom production and subpar lyricism that is take control. I appreciated this number for its poetic vibe. In it his girl is an amber-a precious gemstone. This was a collaboration with Phoenix Pagliacci, with sick spoken word lyrical prowess.
She had the wingspan of a kingsland
Recovery, another unneccessary interlude. I found it noisy!
For the Road begins with a beautiful blend of harmonies. In it, he seems to be wholly interested in pursuing this chick who seems to understand his lifestyle-the fast life. He is willing to put in work. It’s a dope chill track.
Trip For 2 Is a follow up from for the road. He is found that woman he has been looking for to hold him down. She understands him, and he is much taken by her, as he talks about spending some time in Dubai with her, and other multiple exotic places. Folks might like it, personally I found it ‘hard’, I’d much prefer if it were softer. It’s an a-okay joint.
The Calm [Interlude]. It is chill, with sounds of waves in the background, what’s more it has jazz flavorings to it. I sooooo love this. It is just my kind of music. This could very well be my favorite on the entire album.
I found Crash a bit off, in terms of sequential arrangement on the album. I mean, from calmness you are suddenly thrust into a jungle of manipulated sounds. To me, it was a bit much production wise, sounds like a lot of clashing wind chimes. Theme is about living without a care in the world, since one is young, and it might all come to an end, So why not? Aiyaiyai….me thinks this was a filler!
Yo!!!!!!!! High Beams is that jam. It’s the culmination of hard work and sleepless nights. This is the kind of jam, you chill with blowing smoke from a Cuban cigar, or hookah.
Outro It is beautiful, but it’s so gotdarn looooooooooooooooooooooooooooong.
I was more than impressed, actually pleasantly surprised by this album. I genuinely enjoyed, reviewing each and every song. Why? Becuase this brother and his team, put in work! I wish him nothing but success!
[Ladies: Ummm, ya’ll better start sending him your
twerkout videos to him, I mean, errrm…knowing who he is, cause once he blows up, it’s a wrap]
Yuri’s EPK/Youtube page