Music Review: The Melodic Blue


Parth Mishra

“The Melodic Blue” features sixteen distinct tracks.

Parth Mishra, AV Radio EIC

Baby Keem kicks off his debut in mainstream rap with highly experimental album “The Melodic Blue.” The versatile rapper is willing to go to any lengths in order to find his groove.

Surprising fans with a studio album after just a week’s notice, Baby Keem’s newest album has already become of the most talked about albums, with high-profile features such as Travis Scott and Kendrick Lamar putting the album at par with Drake’s Certified Lover Boy and Kanye West’s Donda.

Atypical sounds

One of the most noticeable features of any track on The Melodic Blue is the use of various unconventional instruments and other bizarre sounds.

The acoustic guitar in tracks like “South Africa” provide a new path for the ethos of the songs to follow. Keem relies on the piano heavily on tracks with a solemn tone; however, he sends their theme to the wayside with his high-pitched whines that grate on the beat.

In particular, on the track “Lost Souls,” the rapper starts to mimic the mumble rappers that he mocked on “Range Brothers.”

All-around artist

Keem is extraordinarily versatile, switching pitches and flows left and right, as can be seen in the beginning of “cocoa” featuring Don Toliver.

In the first three verses of “Family ties,” Keem switches flows with such proficiency and energy that it is impossible not be left puzzled by the pace of his mastery.

At the same time, however, poor beat choices make for sub-par tracks in the album, as is the case with “pink panties,” which manages to partially disrupt the wonderful momentum created by possibly the greatest intro track of the year, “Trademark USA.”

Keem himself also seems a tad uncomfortable in this new flow of his. While his previous laid back, lo-fi tracks with drug-talk limited his rising potential, this experiment of his manages to actually worsen the situation. He seems hesitant in tracks such as “issues”, where if he was his old self, he would’ve performed confidently. With his new self, he seems to not be able to express his inner emotions as deeply as before. 


The album is a mixing pot of chaos. The features are equal parts amusing and lame, exhilarating and dull, and genuine and mocking. For example, while Don Toliver rides out with an exciting start to his verse on “cocoa,” he defaults to his bread-and-butter flow everyone has heard a thousand times, ending his part on a dreary tone. Meanwhile, Travis Scott chooses to remain underwhelming throughout his verse on “durag activity.” It becomes maddening to a point where one might start wondering if Keem paid the artist to give him the spotlight.

It is chaotic to such a degree that while there might be many wonderful lessons coming out of it for Keem, there’s also equal parts disappointment and lost potential for a better studio album. The Melodic Blue is a prime example of what an experimental album should be: a hands-on gamble at a money maker flow that might just attract the crowd that every aspiring artist needs to grow their career.

Overall, Baby Keem is well on his way to become a prolific figure in the future, like many others before him, with albums such as The Melodic Blue under his belt.