A wellspring of introspection, Goodbye September is a subdued record, the Sunday morning hangover to Saturday’s wild night stemming from Drake’s Take Care blueprint.
If Mon is content to color within those lines, at least he does so adeptly.
He hits puree on this soul-baring hip-hop and R&B blend from the get-go. Its confident, sensual start is presented in the opening title track, quickly devolving into an anxious swirl of toxic head games, an exciting mode revisited in “What You Know,” “The City” and the especially absorbing “When It’s Slow.”
There’s more straightforward offerings in “Right Now” and “That Talk,” while “Eaze Up” finds Mon doing a pretty effective Frank Ocean. But even the more diverse sonic touches are uniformly compressed to a sort of monotone that hedges dreary the deeper it goes.
A welcome splash of color comes with standout “Open Cuts from Broken Promises,” a shape-shifting ball of reimagined College Dropout-era Kanye cuts smashed against a deconstructed winter ballad chorus. The song is a well-placed light in a dark but consistently striking collection of tracks featuring standout production from Blev, Dom $olo, Vercetti Lake and Van.
Goodbye September is available for free at soundcloud.com/musicbymon. — Joshua Boydston