Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book Review

Who would’ve thought that Lil Chano from 79th would be the first Rapper to win a Grammy for a free project, collaborate with Kanye West extensively on his latest LP, headlining tours around the world…and still be wanting to keep releasing his music for free?

First things first, this project from Chance is a brighter, lighter and more enthusiastic and ecstatic Chance that we saw on previous tapes ‘10 Day‘ and ‘Acid Rap‘.

There are some star-studded features as well as production credits, ranging from Kanye West, Jay Electronica, Kaytranada and Nico Segal.

The majority of the production on the album is radiating happiness. From the beginning with the firm drums and rough vocals from Chance on “All We Got” to the loop of the choir-esque  vocals that see Chance link up with stars 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne (who steals the show) on “No Problem”. While other tracks like “Summer Friends”, “All Night” and “Angels” are more radio-friendly, it still sounds like Chano is having a fun and enjoying creating uplifting and positive. Unfortunately, these songs are the ones that ultimately bring the density of the album down.

For me, the Justin Bieber and Towkio assisted “Juke Jam” is one of Chance’s smoothest tracks to date. Not only does it see Chance melodically look back on a previous relationship, but the light keys in the back, strings and minimalism of the track remind me of his ’10 Day’ “Brain Cells“. Bieber’s vocal performance is one of my favourites on this album as well as the only other feature I’ve heard him on (“Maria, I’m Drunk” – Travis Scott & Young Thug). Obviously, the Jay Electronica featured “How Great” which begins with the most incredible choir and see Chance’s cousin Nicole display her background vocals are important to the overall flow and substance to the track. While Jay’s verse only clocks in at just over a minute, it is one of the best features on the album.

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In all, the album is a drastic change to the dark, gloomy and pessimistic themes and songs that Chance displayed on his previous efforts. As well as that he is fully promoting a more positive outlook on his career and aiming to be (or already is) the next best thing out of Chicago. The last thing I have to say though; in comparison to the 2015 The Social Experiment album ‘Surf‘, a majority of the tracks that ended up on here could have landed earlier on that.

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