It’s already fall, and the genre of R&B is slowly transitioning from melancholic hard beats to joyful and “love is in the air” type rhythms. Released in late 2016, Roy Woods’ Waking at Dawn is one of the most memorable soul albums someone could produce. The reason? His undefined style and mesmerizing voice. With lo-fi hip hop vibes and a heavenly, echoing alto whispering in your ears, there’s no way someone could dislike Woods for his talent.
Woods, originally born Denzel Spencer, is an Ontario native who recently came into the R&B game with a different take on vocals accompanied with repetitive rhythmic beats. Although his songs show no heavy indication of rap influenced flows, his instantly identifiable voice emerges as a unique gamechanger in his current city of Toronto, despite having beats matched with instrumentals that could’ve shown up on any release by Drake or PartyNextDoor. In a land where triple tempoed beats are the standard for any song nowadays, Woods was unafraid to pivot his performance with a new voice and a celestial talent.
Today, I’ll be reviewing Waking at Dawn holistically.
Although Woods’s voice may mesmerize you, his message really isn’t that deep. The main focus on Woods is not his style or his verses, but his voice. Although a majority of the songs in the album are fast-paced, Woods manages to slow down your spirit with every flow he projects.
He is still not as well-recognized in the R&B community, but he is making his gaining more publicity with his new look and charismatic style. His prominent songs in the album, “Menace” and “How I Feel” give listeners a different perspective of music from what we tend to view as traditional hip hop/rap or R&B. Having a persona as inexplicable as the allusions to high school and past loves he makes in all his songs, Woods gives you a chance to explore a new take on modern music; I recommend all to take a listen and immerse yourselves in what is Waking at Dawn.