Imani Wj Wright & Muammar Muhammad – “Lately” – Single Review
Imani Wj Wright continues to tighten up the corners of his relentlessly artistic signature style and sharpen the degree of accessibility in his material. As I’ve been pointing out from day one on our pages here at sleepingbagstudios in support of this guy, the skillset has always been there, the potential was always apparent – you might say he’s making better choices now further along into his music career, but the facts are that Wj Wright has been refining his art every step of the way and consistently evolving. Teaming up once again with Muammar Muhammad for the new single “Lately” – together, they’ve truly locked-in to something special with this song…it’s the kind of tune that authentically sounds timeless.
Now…don’t get me wrong – Imani has proven himself to us here at SBS several times over at this point – and I’m sure if you’ve been following along with his music yourself, the same could easily be said for you too. But I gotta admit, “Lately” was next-level once again for this guy…were I not so sure of what he’s capable of, there’s a good chance I would have double-checked to see if this was a cover version of a true classic from way back in the day – that’s the kind of stellar quality we’re talking about here today. To say I’m impressed would be to put it mildly…”Lately” is a moment in time that I never wanted to end.
What I can tell ya is this: timing can sure play a large role in how we listen to the music we hear. Like, I’d get it if you told me that you were on your fourth coffee or energy drink of the day, all amped-up and ready to go hit the gym or whatever it is physically active people do, and “Lately” wasn’t going to be the cut you wanted to pump some iron to – I get that, sure. But for the rest of us out there looking to chill, especially in the latest hours of the night or earliest in the morning when I tend to write my reviews or listen to music, a track like “Lately” hits that beautiful sweet-spot of serenity in sound like a perfect fit. It’s the kind of song that you genuinely want to sit, listen, and pay attention to with everything you got.
That’s the effect of great songwriting and stunning execution.
Music doesn’t need to punch us in the face to get our attention; it just needs to be approached with passion, emotion, and melody that connects to our hearts & minds. “Lately” is arguably about as subtle as a single can be in many ways…Imani & Muammar keep the cadence of this song extremely laid-back but highly inviting to listen to, because all the right ingredients you wanna hear are in every single note. Whether it’s the gorgeously played piano or the beauty in the accenting guitar alongside it, or the ever-expressive way that Wj Wright sings his material with such soul on display – “Lately” flows with that pure magic we’re all imploring our speakers to provide us with on the daily, but so rarely ever does. Unless of course, we reach for a classic that’s tried, tested, and true – which is really what makes this particular single so remarkable all-around…”Lately” fits right into that category of timeless tunes. It’s immediately the kind of high-caliber cut that you know you can always rely on to supply that unique & specific level of engaging, chilled-out, and enticing sound we love so much in the songs we reach for to ease our minds and soothe our souls at the times we need them the most. And that’s not to say you’re about to hear the happiest song of the year – that’s not what “Lately” is or would be interpreted by others by any account. What you’ll hear, is a full spread of honest emotions, thoughts, and feelings from Imani and Muammar in both the music and vocals respectively, where at times it’s downright heartbreaking and at others, fully comforting in its brilliantly relatable lyricism, theme, and overall vibes.
“Lately” is another extremely solid single in a growing catalog of cuts that have real identity & style fused into one – big ups to Imani Wj Wright, Muammar Muhammad, and of course to the rest of the fam in the Swano crew for continuously creating music that hits the mark for its artistic integrity.
Find out more about Imani Wj Wright at his official page at Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/imaniwjwright1
Find out more about Muammar Muhammad at Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/mim0630
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