Album Review: Let’s Start Here

Review by: Shrija Shandilya

Artist: Lil Yachty

Rating: 4/5

Lil Yachty’s fifth studio album, Let’s Start Here, is indicative of his reform. He incorporates a more alternative and psychedelic rock sound while retaining some of his own vocal style. The album starts with “The Black Seminole,” a standout track that effectively sets the tone for the album. With synth and distorted vocals, it highlights the exploration into alternative and the rising culmination of rock and hip hop that Yachty embraces throughout this album. 

The ‘60s and ‘80s influence throughout the album is clear, especially in tracks like “The Ride,” which feature a rock-like drumline, reminiscent of Tame Impala. This is continued in “Running Out of Time,” which marries elements of funk, psychedelic rock, and Lil Yachty’s classic distorted vocals. 

Yachty’s influences for the album are incredibly varied. He utilizes synth, bass, and drum lines that are evocative of classic Pink Floyd. To contrast this, he also pulls influence from modern indie in “drive ME crazy,” an upbeat pop-like track.

This album never fails to surprise, transitioning from more calm and serene songs such as “pRETTy” to “The Alchemist” offering an upbeat listening experience. “The Alchemist” features a dramatic shift from grunge to slow funk. It is through tracks like this that Lil Yachty creates an incredibly diverse album. 

Although Let’s Start Here brings much-needed variety to Yachty’s discography, he sometimes missed the mark when it comes to delivery. This is seen best in “Reach the Sunshine,” where Daniel Caesar’s features fit better with the production. However, this is a minor issue because of how successfully Yachty launched himself into a completely new genre. At first, his vocals seem jarring, but throughout the album, they progressively build to fit the overall style of the album.

“Let’s Start Here” epitomizes what an experimental album should be. He is able to combine his old warbly vocals and soft rapping with ‘60s progressive rock and funk to create an eclectic and varied listening experience. Overall, the exploration into a new era of rock and rap culmination is enjoyable. Though he did tread slightly astray at times, he’s proved his confidence and range as an artist. It will be interesting to see if he makes the switch to rock permanently.