REVIEW: Lil Yachty’s bold “Let’s Start Here” is a surprising breath of fresh air



Photo courtesy of Apple Music

“Let’s Start Here” features a disturbing AI generated album cover.

On Jan. 27, Miles McCollum, better known as Lil Yachty, released his fifth studio album, “Let’s Start Here.” This launch was a delightfully unexpected pivot away from his original trap style and towards an alternative rock sound. The record utilizes live instrumentals along with voice modifiers and other trap elements. While the album is chaotic at times, it is a strong attempt at a blend between psychedelic rock and hip-hop and is outstandingly unique. 

The collective album forms a cohesive sound, and the tracks melt seamlessly from one into the next. While this makes for an amazing album listening experience, it makes each song seem more just like a continuation of the last track This can make the songs difficult to listen to when not listening to the whole album in order. 

Some stand-out tracks off the album are “THE zone~,” “drive ME crazy!” and “REACH THE SUNSHINE.” These three tracks are also the few that feature other artists performing. Daniel Caesar and Justine Sky are featured on these songs, and their melodic voices add a much needed contrast to McCollum’s warped vocals. 

Yachty’s best solo track on this record is “running out of time.” Accompanied by a groovy bassline, quirky instrumentals, and Yachty’s distinct voice effects, this track captures the essence of the hip-hop/rock blend he is seemingly aiming to create. 

The release of “Let’s Start Here” was followed by instant critical acclaim. Much of this can be attributed to the producers on the album. Justin Raisen, a prolific producer well known for working with Joji and Lizzo, has songs throughout the majority of the album. Patrick Wembly is also credited on every song on the album. His other works include Beyonce’s award-winning self-titled album, MGMT’s “Little Dark Age” and Joji’s “Nectar.” 

Prior to this album, McCollum was known for his unique sound as well as his social media presence and comical personality. His most recent single, “Poland,” went viral on the internet for being incredibly absurd and strange. This album marks a shift in his career to a more serious and professional tone. 

Influence from Pink Floyd’s masterpiece “The Dark Side of the Moon” is apparent throughout the record. It recreates psychedelic rock riffs that seem to be almost taken straight out of the album. Also, his spontaneous and acclaimed shift in creative direction has been likened to Childish Gambino’s release of “Awaken! My Love” and Tyler the Creator’s “Flower Boy.” 

The future seems bright for Lil Yachty. With a creative and distinct sound, this album was a breath of fresh air among the monotony of the popular music industry. In the coming years, it will be exciting to see McCollum’s progression as an artist in developing his own, unique sound.