GEMINI‘s Trip, a single which comes as the first release on GroovyRoom’s new Area label, had the chance to distinguish itself from the hip-hop stylings common amongst the scene as of late. Instead, it opts for more of the same, and despite its production quality, feels frustratingly formulaic as a result.
Its opener, the titular “Trip,” is strong in its verses, with GEMINI’s slightly rasped vocals complementing the grunge-imbued, filtered rhythm guitar pad backdrop with ease. But when it reaches its hook, one which repeats its title in rapid pace over layers of trap and distorted percussion, things quickly become grating.
Jay Park‘s sleek, sultry verse which harkens back to his own “Sex Trip” single does make up for the lack of a rhythmic backbone to some degree, but considering that this is the first offering from a brand new label, leaning on a household name to bolster the title-track isn’t always the most endearing of routes to take, despite the fact it will draw more ears to the project.
Nevertheless, “Trip” does have its appeal in that it is an undeniably accessible R&B-tinged hip-hop track, even if its bass-driven trap and grunge-inspired backdrop feels occasionally uninspired.
“Fake” does leave some room for cautious optimism, however. Opening with a guitar-fused melody wrapped around vocoded harmonies, the song stays rather tempered at first, with GEMINI’s opening verse one that’s delivered over an airy, thinly-spread synth lead.
When the chorus comes around, though, the track is afforded its bite, picking up the pace with aggressively delivered lines on false personalities whilst the bass beats become gritty and distorted, and the 808s swiftly increase in volume.
Unlike Jay Park’s addition to the previous cut, Paul Blanco‘s feature feels a lot more natural, with the two having a seamless synergy in vocal style which ensures a consistency to the track, and allows for GEMINI‘s style to feel more comfortable. “Fake” is a definite improvement on what precedes it, with its edgier sonic stylings showing a lot more promise than the at times cut-and-paste lead single.
All in all, GEMINI and GroovyRoom fail to truly deliver a definitive mission statement on Trip, but still succeed in giving a consummate level of quality to the listener. It will be intriguing to hear where both artists go from here, but if they push a few more envelopes and chip away at their respective comfort zones, it may just lead to manifold results.