“Lead you to the light, even if it’s night baby.. I know you wanna shine.” This is the refrain for the lead single, “Wanna Shine?” (Feat. Otis Junior) from James Lindsey’s long awaited release Same Sky. Those words work as a promise from Lindsey in this case as Same Sky is an album full of positive vibes and uplifting philosophy. Even the album title is a reference to the idea that we are all human; “might not all pray to the same god, have the same taste, but we all got the same sky.” Brilliant lyrics, even if they are almost impossible to believe in the current political climate.
The song that goes the hardest is “8-Ball.” While the album is overwhelmingly full of inspiring narratives, directly in the middle of it all is this track with a hook referencing cocaine and one of the greatest gangster rappers of the 90’s and early 2000’s. 8Ball and MJG are some of the most under appreciated MC’s in the game. It’s good to see that Lindsey has great taste. This song isn’t necessarily uninspiring, but is has more braggadocio then the rest of the album. This is my favorite version of Lindsey.
The most surprising thing about the album at first glance is Twin Limb as a feature on “30,000 Ft.” If you can imagine in this weather, driving with the windows down on a day you have almost nothing to do, that’s what this song feels like. It’s so relaxed, even as the verses build larger and more aggressive Lindsey is able to spit in such a controlled manner that it’s still relaxing.
If you’re trying to have a sweet make out session with your lady/man friend, “Bang (feat. Neek)” will be your jam. Neek is an artist I’m totally unfamiliar with but he absolutely kills it on this track. He has a smooth and unique voice. In the same way that James Lindsey sounds like he doesn’t have to try when he’s rapping, Neek pulls this vibe off on an R&B hook.
Every track on Same Sky is very well produced. If you’re wondering why we waited so long for this album to come out, it must have been in pursuit of perfection. There isn’t a harsh, unimportant, or out of place sound on this album. Lindsey’s voice is flawless and his lyrics are honest and layered. Sometimes, having the patience and foresight to get the perfect sound is totally worth it, and James Lindsey made the right choice here. My only issue is that he sounds a lot like Jalin Roze.