Sxee Finesse – Save Face

 Sxee Finesse – Save Face

Sxee Finesse – Save Face – EP Review

No objections from me homie…Sxee Finesse has got a good thing goin’ on here with his latest EP.

I really thought the opening of “Tornado” worked well for a first impression.  It’s not like we can’t visually SEE the explicit tags added to every single song on this EP, so to hear things start out on a gentle note was actually pretty unexpected when it comes right down to it, and I dig surprises like that.  With guest-star Slade on the mic along with the main star of the show, Sxee Finesse’s Save Face gets moving quick as the song expands into an explosion of vibrant sound and an irresistible flow.  Dude mixes and masters his own vocals as far as I’ve read, and you gotta give the man credit for knowing how to get exactly what he wants out of his sound.  You get a whirlwind display of his talents right off the drop as “Tornado” starts up, carryin’ Sxee’s vocals from the lefts to the rights.  Dude’s confident on the m-i-c, and if you had the skills he has, you would be too.  Slade was a stellar choice to back him up…all-in-all, it’s a very balanced track straight outta the gate, with both emcees bringing their own style to it for sure, but ultimately complementing what each other brings to “Tornado” as individuals as well.  It works, that’s facts – you can hear how relevant the sound of a track like this is for what’s out there in the scene right now, yet it ain’t like you’d listen to “Tornado” and feel like Sxee is any kind of carbon copy either.  That’s what you call the sweet spot y’all…similar to other stuff, sure, but still doin’ his own thang, 100%.

The record’s title-track “Save Face” is super short…it’s actually the shortest cut on the entire EP, and that’s probably a little on the unusual side of things I’d say.  Usually a title cut is where you’ll find an artist or band taking some extra time for a ride as opposed to dialing things back, but whatever works for ya I suppose.  I’ll admit that anything that’s hovering around the ninety-second mark, or measured in seconds as opposed to minutes, probably isn’t gonna be long enough for me personally, but some folks really dig the short cuts.  I look at it this way…you’re gonna do all that work, write all that stuff, create some serious hooks and bars, get up, go to the studio, etc. etc. – and for ninety some-odd seconds?  I guess the flipside of the coin is that you gotta admire the dedication that would take – I don’t have whatever that is.  You won’t catch me doing pretty much anything for less than an hour, you feel me?  Look at it this way…the amount of times I’ve spun “Save Face” equates to way more time spent listening than what the track plays out to be…I’ve probably already put at least a half-hour or more into this cut that’s only 1:37!  Chances are you will too though…believe me when I tell ya, I don’t keep spinnin’ stuff that I don’t really want to listen to – “Save Face” hits the mark, it pops, it’s filled with premium sound from the music to the microphone…it might be short, but by that same token, there’s not an inch of dead space or anything that’s not done perfectly.  The reality is, it’s still every bit as hard to make a track this short flawless, just like it would be for longer tunes too – Sxee’s got the right amount of attention to detail & clearly has a passion to make music…don’t matter how long a song is, all that matters is quality at the end of the day.  He’s gonna raise a few eyebrows with his words on this one too, I guarantee it.  If you’re wondering if Sxee Finesse just said what you think he said, I can fully promise you that he did.

“Carry Da Mask” is the kind of track you can instantly get behind…like I’d probably be looking at this track as a potential single if I was Sxee Finesse…get it that whole video treatment & such.  Dude’s got a whole palette of sound that he really knows how to use right in order to get the most out of his trappin’ – “Carry Da Mask” gets the maximum out of this two minutes for sure.  He’s rockin’ with some cinematic style right off the drop as it begins – but listen to the slickness in his flow here will ya?  Dude’s got Finesse in his name for a reason y’all, and it’s tracks like “Carry Da Mask” that will confirm why he does.  Moving fluidly with rhythm & precision, “Carry Da Mask” has the man shifting perfectly between gears, bringing it to the mic in multiple speeds.  From his stylistic vibes to his undeniable swagger, to the melody he adds to his bars & hooks…for real y’all…pay attention – there’s likely more happening here than you might think at first.  Sxee’s as…hmmm…let’s say as descriptive as you know him to be at this point…a whole lot of “Carry Da Mask” is about fuckin’ – but hey…if you missed all the explicit tags, that’s on YOU.  The man says what he wants to say how he wants to say it & I’m here for it, like you should be.

“Talk To Me Nice” is where you can hear there’s a bit of an audible issue…we’re probably at about 50% of the volume of the rest of the record, and though that’s always an easy fix, it’s definitely one that you wanna make sure to take care of.  The last thing you want is people reaching for the volume dial to shift it back & forth as they listen, it’ll take’em right out of the experience altogether.  Beyond that, “Talk To Me Nice” is probably one of the strongest cuts on the record, and it deserves the bump in volume that it shoulda had already yo!  Ultimately it’s crucial shit though…and Sxee knows exactly what I’m talkin’ about because he’s got functional ears just like the rest of us do.  No need to settle for a ‘oh yeah…just gotta turn this one up a little bit’ – no sir…get back on the studio boards or do what needs to be done in order to bring it up to the level that’ll stay cohesive with the rest.  Anything short of that, and you can pretty much expect people to hit skip more readily than they’ll start twisting the volume back and forth.  For now, it is what it is…I’m never concerned about something that can be solved with the twist of a dial on either side of the scenario – what always matters more to me is ideas, and he’s got one here.  I’d go as far as to say there’s a good chance that “Talk To Me Nice” is actually the most universally accessible cut of the bunch.  Re-enlisting Slade was a solid move too…from the sound of the two songs where they both appear together on this record, they clearly make for a strong collaboration to listen to, every time.

Then you’ve got “Fus N Lies” putting the most emphasis on Sxee’s vocal style, bringing out the effects-heavy method that works so well for him, and making it the most prominent aspect of what you’ll hear.  More than the beat, and more-so than the actual words too, know what I mean?  You hear the sound of Sxee Finesse more than anything else when it comes to “Fus N Lies.”  Ain’t nothing wrong with that – some songs are about content, some are about character, you feel me?  It’s all about trying different methods and testing the waters to see what works best for ya, and if you don’t, you’ll never really know.  “Fus N Lies” makes more use of repetition in the vocals than you’ve typically found on the record so far, and in a way, I suppose it’s fair to say that this track is a bit more of a deep cut as opposed to pumping out universal single-worthy sound.  “Fus N Lies” is a bit more niche when it comes right down to it, but there’s nothing wrong with that either.  I had plenty of spins through this record where I felt like this cut could very well be right up there with my favorites in this set…there might be less involved in the DNA of this track perhaps, but when it comes to satisfaction in listening, it still delivers solid results for sure.

Finishing off the record with “WYM!,” Sxee Finesse ends the Save Face EP with a track that could potentially rival “Carry Da Mask” for the most accessible cut.  In fact, I think I’d probably be inclined to go with this one overall…which really makes “WYM!” a stellar track to leave you on.  “WYM!” = what you mean, as far as I can tell from the hook.  Solid production on this track…for the vast majority of this record, save for that one noticeable volume drop in between “Carry Da Mask” and “Talk To Me Nice,” Sxee Finesse has really kept this whole lineup tight in every possible way.  Like I’ve been tellin’ ya from the get-go, he’s got a completely solid grip on the kind of sound, style, and vibe he wants to create, and you’ve gotta give the man props for executing his vision at a truly high level.  People will definitely dig on what he’s come up with on the Save Face EP…it’s relevant, rhythmic, and filled with undeniable swagger.

Find out more about Sxee Finesse from his official page at Instagram:

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