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Album Review: Blackstarkids brings immaculate vibes on ‘Whatever, Man’

The top comment on Blackstarkids’ video for “Britney Bitch” simply states, “The vibes are immaculate.” If I could write a one-sentence review of this group’s new album, that would be it. 

The Kansas City trio already released a record this year, but simply couldn’t wait to put out more material- delivering in a huge way with Whatever, Man. 

The thing about pop music (in one writer’s humble opinion) is its tendency to feel formulaic and blandly repetitive. BSK is challenging that mold with their shimmery tunes, drawing on influences from all over the musical map to create their unforgettable sound. They share vocal duties between The Babe Gabe’s breathy bubblegum trill, Deiondre’s deep backup and Ty Faizon’s killer laidback flow. 

Whatever, Man sounds exactly like the title implies- the group is chilling, surfing through the insanity that is current life and fully embracing the weird, wild and wonderful. 

The album is bursting with pop culture characters and references in the song titles and the lyrics. On the meandering “Frankie Muniz”, Faizon muses that he and his lost love are “just a couple kids trying to dye our problems away” and this line perfectly sums up the feelings permeating through the record. 

Between tracks, the iconic radio host with the most (in her own estimation) Claire Mitchell narrates her show, transitioning perfectly from song to song and keeping the easygoing mood of the album strong. The album earns a straight playthrough (no skips!) but pay special attention to tracks like “Friendship” and “Tangerine Love”, two standouts on Whatever, Man

With only a few listens under my belt, I can confidently say that this record is already timeless. BSK is making music for them and that’s exactly why Whatever, Man is going to resonate so strongly with current and future fans. There’s no other way to put it- the vibes are indeed immaculate and we can’t wait to let them carry us through the rest of 2020 and beyond. 

Story by Olivia Khiel
Image courtesy of Blackstarkids