Night Circus, Joint Staff Review

Two of our staffers discuss LA-based artist Bryce Vine's newest album, Night Circus.

Armon: To be honest, I hadn’t heard of Bryce Vine until Thunder told me we were going be reviewing his album this past weekend. Word, bet, cool, another new artist to add to the Spotify arsenal. I like to have a diverse aux game to appeal to all crowds, so I was interested to hear this guy’s sound. I immediately felt a Kid Cudi vibe, and I fuck with Kid Cudi heavily so I really banged with the opening track “Nowhere Man” on Vine’s newly released 6-song project entitled Night Circus.

Now what I’m about to say might be unfair, but I want to preface it by saying this does not take away from Bryce Vine as an artist. I dislike when new artists sound similar to someone I’ve heard before. Oftentimes it’s unavoidable, especially when you’re creating music. Naturally, you follow in the footsteps of other artists who have created popular music.

Omari (Thunder): As a fan of Vine and his LA-esque, beach/pop-rap sound, I see where Armon is coming from. Bryce clearly has old Kid Cudi influences in this project; however, he steps into his own lane and produces his own sound. If you’ve never heard of him, I highly recommend his critically acclaimed first project: Lazy Fair (2014). Best song - “Guilty Pleasure.”

As for the intro track on his new project, “Nowhere Man,” Vine goes in a completely different direction from his previous works, and takes a page out of old Cudi’s book and tells a melodramatic story about him wanting more out of life. It’s not a bad track, but not what I expected to hear nor is this his best work.

But when I heard the next track, “Glamorama” that judgment went out the window. It’s not Vine trying to copy Cudi at all, it’s his individual sound. And it works for him. The song is story of a woman who is being swallowed by the Hollywood life, which is complemented by nice guitar riffs.

“She got them Gucci ruby shoes
Dancin' at the club; these niggas love the way she moves
And she ridin'
Out to her party in the hills
Bumpin' on the coke cause she loves the way it feels”

It’s a laid back track and an easy listen, which seems to be what this project is all about.

A: “Los Angeles” was also really dope to me. The lyrical content, the production and his flow were all on point. Good vibes coming from this track.

O: I’ll agree with Armon on this one. Good lyrical flow, nice instrumentals, quality lyrics. This was his first single off the album and it’s a transition to a pop-rap/beach vibe, which seems to be Vine’s bread and butter. Hearing this leaves me reminiscent of his old works, a style he smoothly blends with his new style. This is my favorite song on the album.

A: “Private School” was a fun song. Vine kept it very real, and it's probably my favorite song on Night Circus.

O: Also one of the best songs on the project, as he continues his valley girl story. And it works for him.

A: “Street Punks on a Freight Train” had an alternative rock feel to it, which I really liked. It was also a really fun track. Vine is definitely a very versatile artist. He perfectly fuses hip-hop and pop, while dipping into other genres as well.

O: Eh . . . The instrumental on this is good and worth a listen.

A: “Bang Bang” was an awesome closer track. cosigned

Now, as I said I’d never heard of the guy before, so I can’t truly appreciate and analyze this album without seeing where he’s come from his 2014 project, Lazy Fair, another 6-song album.

I have theories about why artists are settling for shorter projects, but I can say I appreciate this project in particular for being shorter. While I like Night Circus, my tastes are more diverse. I can’t listen to the same sound all the time. But this album is a quick listen and I could hear it repeatedly without growing tired of it.

His sound is fairly consistent from his last album to this new one. Lazy Fair sounded even more Kid Cudi-esque to be honest. Night Circus is a solid piece of art.

O: If you’re a fan of his previous works, this is a must-listen. Overall, 3.5/5.

A: I give it a strong 3/5. He’s someone I will be excited to listen to when his next project drops.

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The album is available on both Spotify and iTunes/Apple Music.