REVIEW: 808vic - 'Retrograde'

(we are in soup)

808vic, the Nigerian-born, London-living bedroom musician, released his fourth single of the year today. The song, entitled “Retrograde,” epitomized what I like to call a “20-second-bopper-turns-immediate-flopper.” While the name is a little wonky, the concept is simple: a musician captures your ears and quickly casts a spell of immense ear-captivation on you. The said spell lasts around 20 seconds, or however long the intro hook lasts, then ceases to exist immediately upon the beginning of the first verse.

While this may be a harsh conclusion or label to place upon the song, I genuinely felt too overwhelmed by the production to be able to enjoy it past 20 seconds.

Now, what do I mean by this? While the production showed glimpses of being progressive and mildly experimental, it was difficult to ever focus on 808vic’s talent due to the sheer amount of elements being utilized. The bass is a little too pronounced for my liking, as are the claps and snaps that come in at the chorus. I understand how this could be appealing for some; however, I find it difficult to find a true connection with a song that has near-inaudible lyrics. Five or so words in the intro-hook alone were incredibly difficult to interpret.

I’m sure my brain is just capping on a few instances, and maybe even 808vic’s vernacular and dialect play a role, but it just became frustrating by the end of the two-minute song. There were instances when three-plus voices were being played over each other at once. I genuinely just became overwhelmed and lost interest in transcribing what I was hearing.

The intro-hook ends when 808vic sings, “Her friend group, I split that, like kit kat.” Immediately after, an exaggerated, yet attention-seizing, SPLIT and CRUNCH echo throughout your ear cavity. I was expecting to be introduced to a Cuco-esque, funkadelic adventure. However, I was instead ushered into a backyard-football version of Cuco’s hit song, “Keeping Tabs.”

808vic showed an immense amount of promise with his vocal ability, but sadly overshadowed it with overdone production and over-simplified lyrics. This song didn’t feel as unique and budding-with-potential as his other tracks “Overstayed” and “Vibe Session 2” did. I look forward to 808vic’s next song, and I really hope he can make me eat my words.

Thank you and have a lovely Wednesday (: