The latest evidence of that is The Lullaby Goodbye. The newest project from OKC-by-way-of-Arkansas rapper Joe Average reads like the offspring of Kid Cudi and Citizen Cope, a soulful record that recalls Belize as much as Brooklyn.
“The Reaching,” an assured bonfire ballad that sounds like the few moments before falling asleep, is bookended by the party anthem “Joe Meets Destiny” and the Clams Casino-inspired, oil-in-vinegar production “3 Lies.” That latter track segues into the upbeat “Only for Tonight.” “Waiting” drips back into a cosmos of reverb and weightlessness before snapping back to Earth halfway in.
Average’s delivery shifts from lounge-chair soft to Ginsu sharp (most notably on “Something for You”) at the flick of a switch. For as laissez-faire as his sultry, eight-song effort first comes across, Joe Average must have had an airtight handle on things to make such a dreamy collection hit on every note. —Joshua Boydston