Beware is the long awaited album from Stephon Foster, an artist whose singles have been featured here a number of times in the lead up to this highly anticipated release. The songs on this album are notable for featuring Stephon Foster’s fun attitude, sincerity and often intensely personal lyrics.
The opening track Boy, I Quit is a brief but breezily catchy R&B/pop jam, which isn’t afraid to express emotional vulnerability while still being empowering. Songs like I’m Not the One venture further into hip hop territory, where Stephon frequently displays a more sassy side and incorporates guest rappers like “Noah Soundz.” The use of these guest hip hop artists brings an added element to some of these songs, as they often chime in unexpectedly with a rapping interlude, creating a multi-dimensional relationship dynamic to the composition. Rain (featuring Surron the 7th) is hypnotic and dreamy. It has an ethereal flow and is probably my favorite of the light hip hop songs on this album.
Stephon often displays an unpredictable and bold side. Every song shows a willingness to experiment and spice things up a bit with tonal twists and musical turns. Another consistent component is Stephon’s willingness to be emotionally honest. Every song on the album has a personal touch, and this heartfelt sincerity is ultimately what lends the record its charm. Many pop artists now (regardless of technical talent level) do not write sincere or substantive songs or lyrics which are about anything real. But Stephon Foster’s songs all have in depth backstories and deep personal meaning. There’s more than just a voice and a beat here. When you listen to Stephon’s song’s you’re getting a human being’s story on the real.
It’s a roller coaster ride and the album closes out strong, first with the romantically hopeful Wonderland. This is actually I think the catchiest, most well written and biggest “hit” song in the collection. Wonderland also contains what I believe is Stephon’s best vocal performance. It just comes together nicely. The final song is Blue, a sentimental and bittersweet track which could give any Disney tear-jerker song a run for its money Beware is an album which was a long time in the making. Filled with substantive lyrical content and substantial musical variety, this emotionally charged package was worth the wait.
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