In the ever-evolving landscape that is the music industry, there are very few artists who have captured the hearts and minds of fans worldwide quite like youth sensation The Kid Laroi. With a magnetic stage presence these past years on global headlining tours, an uncanny ability to craft emotionally charged lyrics, and a unique blend of hip-hop and melodic prowess, the Australian-born artist has taken the world by storm, and crafted his own path to stardom.
The eyes of the music world jolted towards The Kid Laroi on October 25th, 2023 when he logged onto social media to publicly confirm and announce his first studio album release in over 3 years, titled THE FIRST TIME. Hinting at this album came mixed opinions and confusion from his silence after a previous three-song release lead up in 2022. Laroi, however, shocked his gazing audience of fans with what appeared to be a new experimental sound for the album, previewing music in early October, as well as releasing his first big collab song of the year “TOO MUCH” with Jung Kook and Central Cee. This collab song, as well as the two leading singles for THE FIRST TIME also offered a glimpse into what fans could expect from Laroi’s hiatus in music, with a correlating vibe between melodic soul tempered music on the track “BLEED,” and a somewhat fast-paced yet almost reminiscent sound on “WHAT JUST HAPPENED,” where it brings the listener back to his older heart-broken belting vibe from his 2020 album F*CK LOVE.
With these two opener tracks alongside his collaborative song, Laroi seemed to give a strong and excited tone straight out the gates for this album release, and he definitely did not disappoint.
“Only 1 thing I ask when the album is out, please listen from top to bottom. Even the ones you’ve already heard or are already out. ” - The Kid Laroi via X.
Just how Laroi wanted, we dove through the album start to finish, collecting not only the vibe of each song, but looking to understand and reflect on the ways in which Laroi climbed into a landscape of unfamiliarity this year. This album features an array of upcoming and currently mainstream artists, ranging from d4vd and BabyDrill, to Future and NBA Youngboy. One of the most intriguing aspects throughout the 20-track album is his ability to blur
genre boundaries through the upbeat and unexpected work with artists Jungkook and Central Cee on Track 5, to his first collaborative melodic soul song with d4vd on Track 14, to even working with famous pianist Robert Glasper, creating a masterpiece that will leave you too stunned to speak on Track 11, Laroi continues to shock and formulate his own unique sense of music.
The album has a clear split up based on genre. We initially see this sense of fluctuation with the opening tracks “SORRY” and “BLEED,” where Laroi opens the album with a fast-paced song discussing an overview of his life as an artist, the challenges he faces, and the blessings he never overlooks throughout his career. This mixed vibe of emotions are seen through the album in a heap of solo songs most notably Track 3 "I THOUGHT I NEEDED YOU," Track 4 "WHERE DO YOU SLEEP?," Track 6 "TEAR ME APART," and Track 8 "NIGHTS LIKE THIS." This album will not only have you reflecting in some deeper emotions, but mix with Laroi’s older 2019-2020 pop vibe, such as his return collaboration with NBA Youngboy on Track 11 "CALL ME INSTEAD." And we can definitely not overlook d4vd's work on Track 14, where they both find matching energy with a whispering, low-tone voice over an acoustic instrumental that brings out the best of both worlds. The second half of the album brings forth a pop vibe that was expected from Laroi, with tracks bringing out that beautiful energy and vocals such as Track 12 "DESERVE YOU," Track 13 "WHAT WENT WRONG?," Track 15 "YOU," and the closer Track 20 "KIDS ARE GROWING UP."
Laroi not only has a shocking solo run in the midst of the album, but finds the best features with tracks, proving his upstanding growth in music during his lengthy hiatus. This first go-around of the album cannot do it the same justice time will reward it, however this anticipated release was definitely worth the wait. Check out The Kid Laroi's newest album THE FIRST TIME on all platforms!