Barrett Staples: “That Yonder” – an amazing project with no downsides

If there’s one thing the Seattle-based artist Barrett Staples should be known, over and above the fresh-sounding jazzy beats that brings attention to his remarkable and relaxed chemistry, its consistency. Not once has Barrett delivered a terrible recording. He didn’t do it with “Prequel to Something – EP”, and he hasn’t done it with his “That Yonder” EP. Once again, Barrett Staples relies on live sounding instrumentation,  recording techniques and storyline that ties together all the EP’s tracks to craft a hip-hop recording that, even with the use of old soulful tools, sounds innovative and not like any other hip-hop album right now. It’s as if Staples said to himself: “Sometimes the old ways are best” — and abided by it, but he’s using the old ways to bring hip-hop to the future instead of trapping it in the past.

Barrett Staples comes out swinging, literally, from the opening song “Nova”, a great balance between classic Hip Hop and modern. As usual Barrett gets well thought out ideas through his songs in innovative ways; you can definitely get the feeling he has lyrical substance he wants to express.

I believe in Staples because he seems to care too much about his creativity to fumble or fall aimlessly with sub-par music or irrelevant stories. Barrett Staples doesn’t just make songs, he makes experiences. Each one will touch a different emotion, pull on a different heart-string.

Barrett is one of the few artists who make a one-Listen review difficult because one isn’t enough. If I had to compare his music to an art form, I would choose cinema. Just like seeing a fascinating movie, your eyes aren’t able to capture all the beauty and nuances in one viewing.

The first watch will blow you away to the point that you must see it again and that’s Barrett, especially on the melodic “Spindrift”. Hell, even multiple listens might not be enough for this track.

“Right Way” naturally stands out. It doesn’t have a soulful jazzy production. Instead the beat is instantaneously hard-hitting, and the eclectic verses are just as electrifying. Staples’ pomp and bravado flow comes to a head here.

A pretty intense listen, the track is handled so deftly by Barrett, that rather than becoming an impenetrable cacophony of relentless rhyme, meant solely to impress, the result is a very accessible and immensely entertaining track, showcasing Barrett’s A-level technique and wordplay.

“All Right” switches right back down to Barrett Staples’ classic, soulful and laidback tones. The song is another conceptual track, where Staples goes into the specifics of his emotions and he is able to execute it superbly. “That Yonder” is an amazing project with no downsides. It is as fluid as anything he has done before, as he continues to create thought provoking music that will leave the listener begging for more.


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