The third project from the Drake backed RnB duo hailing from Toronto, Ontario, “A Muse In Her Feelings”, brings together the talents of lead singer Daniel Daley’s smooth wordplay and producer, nineteen85’s Grammy award winning skills like no other. This project brings the classic sound we have come to know with DVSN, an old school take to the more adventurous R&B made by fellow Toronto artists such as Partynextdoor and The Weeknd. All while bringing elements of storytelling and doing something we have yet to see from a DVSN project and that is featuring artists.
From the album cover to the tracklist, DVSN’s artistic taste and attention to detail is something to applaud. We start with the album cover that depicts the duo painting a naked woman who is put on a pedestal. The two are not painting this woman with art supplies as they have none by their side but, they are painting her with their music, which is essentially pen and paper. These subtle details are what makes this project so enjoyable. Now to the storytelling of the album, a three part series of a break up. From the start, “No Good”, “Friends” and “Still Pray for You”, indicate that a break up has ensued with the lyrical references and even the titles of the tracks. We then transition into the post relationship phase from, “Courtside” to “Greedy”, this is the mash up of emotions after a break up as there are tracks that speak about being choosy, asking your ex lover if they miss you and lots of club related tracks that tie into love. Whether these tracks are the hardships of finding love in the city or their love for women who please their eyes this is a theme in the album that keeps on going. The album ends on a soft note, Daley sings about trying to mend this love again in tracks “For Us”, “In Between,” and “A Muse”. A Muse being my favourite out of this bunch with hits hard hitting baseline. With the final track, “Again,” expressing Daley’s interest in showing whoever this mystery lover is that he is ready to show her love again. A quiet messy situation indeed but something many people can relate to.
Now I could talk about every track on this album as they as I view this as a true work of art with every track playing a role in telling this story so I’m going to go over most of them. Let’s start!
A Muse in Her Feelings starts with a vintage DVSN track, “No Good”: calm, magical 90s RnB inspired keys with a deep baseline that persists throughout the album nineteen85, (Also known as Anthony Paul Jefferies) accompanies Daley’s feathery sentimentals to perfection. Then transitions beautifully to a more hard hitting beat with, “Friends” and features a personal favourite artist of mine, Partynextdoor with the two vocalists complementing each other perfectly on this track.
As the album progresses the pace picks up with features from Jessie Reyez and Future on “Courtside” and “No Cryin” respectively and we transition to Jamaican inspired club hits featuring Buju Banton and Ty Dolla Sign on, “Dangerous City,” and Popcaan on, “So What”. These tracks are products inspired from both Daley’s and Jefferies’ pasts as they both stated they grew up in Jamaican households and Jefferies himself has produced dancehall tracks. It was definitely refreshing to see DVSN dabble in a genre we haven’t heard from them and get back to their roots. These are definitely tracks you’ll hear playing at your local clubs once quarantine is over.
The second half of the album is highlighted by strong features from talented women of the RnB world. Starting off with my favourite track off the project, “Flawless Pt. 3”, featuring Summer Walker. This is a love song disguised as a strip club anthem as the beat builds up to a fast paced club track, the lyrics show a softer side which speaks to the hardships they have told us when it comes to finding love in the city. Next we have a track that samples Usher’s, “Nice and Slow,” “Between Us”, featuring Snoh Aalegra. Daley’s word play on this track is unbeatable and Snoh’s effortlessly sings her verse this song is destined to be a classic. Finally to end the album off DVSN features Shantel May, an almost unheard of local artist from Toronto on, “Again”, this was a track that ended off the 16 track album perfectly. As the two Toronto natives harmonized beautifully over the 80’s inspired keys and synths. A true master class from ninteen85 here and another track that is making the playlist without a question!
All in all this album was a true masterpiece and I gotta give credit to DVSN. This album is something I can listen to it’s entirety as the story it tells is something that definitely hits. The attention to detail is something not many can not attempt and for that I give my applause to Daniel Daley and Paul Jefferies to this project. This really may be the RnB album of the year.
Written by: Hector Nilo