An artist who exhibits versatility is one who can never lose. Vagabond Lover clearly understands this. His 2nd solo EP, “Basslines & Broken Hearts,” released this last January, continues to make me want to hear more. Following his first EP, Purple Cali Funk Vol. 1 (see review here), this next project continues with the 80’s vibes but leans more into an R&B style with some rap mixed in. This EP is host of 6 tracks with a universal theme of heartbreak. Vagabond takes you through a rollercoaster of emotions with each song, diving deep into different perspectives that heartbreak attracts.
The first track, “Fly Again,” has a familiarity to it as he sings, “How do you fly again when your heart is broken? How do you fly again when you can’t stop crying?” This song is all about getting back up after a devastating heartbreak. Moving into the 2nd track, “If I Take You Back,” we get introduced to a little bit of Vagabond’s rap skills mixed in. This song is all about weighing the pros and cons of taking someone back after they’ve done you wrong. The 3rd song, “Def Ears,” has the opposite perspective of the prior song as we listen to Vagabond Lover beg to have his boo take him back.
As we get into the last 3 tracks of this EP, Vagabond continues to keep our attention. “Thinking About” relates to the perspective of what one goes through right after a break up when you simply can’t get that person out of your mind. We hear more of that sing song rap style in this track as well, which continues to reveal Vagabond Lover’s versatility. The next track, although assumed to be a heartbreak song, can also be construed as a love song, with the point of view of a long distance relationship when he says, “I don’t know what to tell myself, Baby. How do I cope when you’re gone? You are the piece of me that I need to breathe. How do I cope when you’re gone? It’s only been 21 days. But it feels like a million years when you’re not here.” Although not necessarily a break up song, it keeps with the heartbreak theme in that being apart from someone you love is difficult and heartbreaking. Wrapping up the EP, Vagabond Lover ends with “Cruel Game.” This particular track is my theme song, and speaks to my personal outlook on love. Anyone who has constantly been hurt by love will relate to this one. There is a juxtaposition of feelings in this song of cynicism and hope that is well illustrated.
Although his musical influence is reminiscent of Prince and 80’s groove type music, there is no denying that Vagabond stays with his own sound and style, effectively blending both entities. It’s refreshing to hear music that has a throwback vibe, yet is still original, thought provoking and relevant. It’s not easy to have a universal theme and not continue to say the same thing in each song. Vagabond Lover did a superb job at creating an EP with so many different emotions. He draws his audience in with the beat and keeps them captive with his lyrics. “Basslines & Broken Hearts,” is a solid project that will not leave you disappointed.