When Brent Faiyaz dropped his hit LP WASTELAND in 2022, it not only highlighted his “transparency” within toxicity, infelidity and, of course, love, but his personal struggles with newfound fame above all.
A year removed from the thrill ride that left Faiyaz in a WASTELAND of desperation and emotion, its follow-up, LARGER THAN LIFE, came as a complete surprise on Friday (Oct. 27). While singles in “WY@” and “Moment For Life” seemingly alluded to a new album in its lead-up, the unannounced arrival of LARGER THAN LIFE further proved Faiyaz’s undoubted star power as R&B’s sultry mafioso — sharing his first LP at the helm of his newfound label ISO Supremacy.
LARGER THAN LIFE sees Faiyaz take a strikingly different approach, moving away from the gloomier, barren themes of WASTELAND and stepping back into the world of the affluent ladies’ man; a persona widely consistent with his prior work. The theme of the album is readily apparent on its opener, “Tim’s Intro,” where Faiyaz playfully boasts about his extravagant lifestyle to a potential romantic interest. “We larger than life,” the refrain drones in the background, as a sample of TLC’s “No Scrubs” sets the stage for nostalgia to set in over the course of 14 tracks.
Touting features from A$AP Rocky, Tommy Richman, BabyFace Ray, FELIX!, Coco Jones, Missy Elliot and more, Faiyaz unfolds the intricacies of his romantic escapades amid his everlasting quest to find true love. From forming bonds with his lover on songs like “Last One Left” and the charming “Outside All Night” with Rocky to making earnest pledges of faithfulness in the woozy “Forever Yours,” singles like “WY@” alternatively capture the raw essence of love, particularly the struggle to break free from a tumultuous relationship.
Faiyaz’s signature, echoed croons fill each song with overwhelming temptation, continuing to feed listeners with slow-burning jams, R&B ballads and most importantly, songs that embrace the influence of the late ‘90s and early 2000s — breathing in new life altogether. Faiyaz pays homage to this era by incorporating samples from iconic tracks such as Nicole Wray’s 1998 hit “Boy You Should Listen” — featured in “Moment of Your Life” alongside Coco Jones — and Rome’s 1997 classic “I Belong to You (Every Time I See Your Face),” creatively woven into “Belong to You” featuring a love-laced verse from Detroit’s own BabyFace Ray.
LARGER THAN LIFE employs nostalgia at all turns, making it sound fresher than ever; something only Faiyaz is capable of doing with this level of poise. Perhaps the most catchy tracks of the batch are “Upset” and “Best Time” with ISO’s Tommy Richman — which sound straight out of a Timbaland and Keri Hilson hard drive at their height. He and Brent trade oft-sung lines and ad-libs that make both efforts irresistible listens. “All the pretty girls come from VA,” the DMV native sing-raps on “Best Time,” exerting his rapper energy over the funky, stank-face laced cut with his distinct suave demeanor.
Additionally, A$AP Ant’s appearance on “On This Side” injects the record with more East Coast flair alongside CruddyMurda — dripped in Faiyaz’s magnetic vocal stacks and intricate, bouncy production. Fashioned largely by Faiyaz’s Sonder running mate DPat, other ISO regulars in Mannyvelli, SpizzleEdoe, L3gion and more make LARGER THAN LIFE sound as grandiose as advertised. The only voice that’s missing is Joony, the latest ISO-RedBull talent who just shared his latest mixtape, MEMENTO, a week prior.
Nevertheless, Brent Faiyaz’s ability to make the world stop when he drops is unmatched — embodying the LARGER THAN LIFE energy the record gives at its core. And with that, a flawless discography.
Listen to “LARGER THAN LIFE” below!