Inspired by a local radio station in Nashville, Jazzy 88, Landon Sears has released his debut album 88.1. For anyone who knows Landon, it won’t come as a surprise to you that he’s paying tribute to the station that would be heard in the background of any trip’s across Nashville to studio sessions – which provides him space to reset his palette and mind from the urgency and demands of everyday life. The Aquarian artist decided to release the album today, in honor of his birthday. So, if you’re looking for a way to celebrate with him, he’s provided the opportunity for you to celebrate from your own home with this release.
Opening the album with Never Trust A Shorty, the first line throws listeners back to college parties/their early twenties, setting the scene of an eventful house party. Propelled by adolescent emotions of desire and issues trusting new significant others, Landon opens up on this opening track spitting his reasons for his ways. The production highlights traditional RnB elements and snappy drums, complimenting the story he’s sharing.
Locomotion feels like a perfect title for the secondary track, as the first minute of this song is a bit all over the place. The song begins with a choir-like intro, goes into a bit of a loopy, melodic trance, then opens up space for Landon’s voice to take over the beat. While the first minute and a half or so is a bit all over the place, all the elements come together in a flattering manner as the song continues. The outro-minute was my favorite part, as it really comes together strong. I was particularly surprised with Landon’s vocal ability, as he hit notes that sounded as it might’ve been Sam Smith joining in for a grand finale. Rather than catering to commercial taste on this one, this song is definitely for a deep listener, as the messages might not be terribly clear but puzzling – and Landon is inviting you to solve it.
Switching it up completely, Backflips has a bold introduction demonstrating his knowledge on captivating hip-hop introductions. What’s interesting about this track is that the intro serves as the chorus as well, and that Landon is rapping more than singing. This tactic was clever, as it’s frequently seen in many songs that pop off on apps such as TikTok nowadays. I really liked this song. It feels very well put together in regards to structure, and the lyrics seem wholesome as he is making no efforts to be like anybody else.
The lyrical context to Daiquiri Ice is pretty funny, to be honest. It’s rare for an artist to not flex an expensive drink on a track, and yet here’s Landon talking about sipping on the ICE in the drink. He puts quite the spin on this idea, that works. The message behind this song seems a bit mysterious, as it almost seems like Landon is alternating between talking about his story in third and first person.
Next Time We’re Flying is the only track on the album with a feature from one of Landon’s long time fellow-collaborators, Bren Joy. This track has a sweet, summer-love feeling to it as he sings about how all he needs is a girl to ride with him no matter how they’re traveling – and how he wants to always provide the First Class experience for the one he loves. In an angelic manner, Bren Joy’s verse coo’s in to take your breath away. His sexy and witty lyrics give listeners the queue that it’s time to get down. Landon couldn’t have picked a more perfect person to be the only feature on the album.
While the majority of the album primarily captures Landon’s worldly feelings thus-far, 30k provides a more introverted look into Landon’s mind as he makes himself very vulnerable with honest claims along the lines of “you don’t know me” and states his wants very clearly. While it’s a full-length track, it feels as if it serves as an interlude for the album. The production on this track will ease your mind with smooth brass elements and playful, curious 808s.
The intro of Uno Reverse feels like an extended part of the previously mentioned “interlude”, which was done very smoothly. Suddenly, on queue with Landon saying “wildcard” the track flips up into its own identity and also reveals the ideology behind the whole track – giving the card game we all grew up with, know and love, a fun, matured life. This song provides example of the growth Landon has experienced as a person, going from house parties and questioning intentions to looking for, wanting and finding long-lasting love. This track is a cool, pivotal moment of the album, with matured life lessons as “you get what you give” trickled throughout the song.
Shea really highlights Landon’s jazzy-roots, as the beat features a variety of instruments from electric piano, brass horns, thoughtful high-hats, and more. The lyrics are more provocative than most on the album, as Landon flexes what a night with him is like. That being said, there’s a very pop feeling to this song as he plays with pop-culture remarks such as his shout out to Cocoa Butter Kisses (yes, by Chance the Rapper), and while it’s provocative, it’s done in a tasteful, eluding way, which makes for a great ode to his background in RnB.
Opening as a ballad would, Love Letter Cursive slows it down for a moment only to go into Landon quickly rapping as if there’s urgency to what he’s saying. These verses of his emphasize the feeling of urgency, and then diminish into a love-bug-esque feeling of euphoria and fulfillment.
Wrapping up the album, Color Wheel seems to be a track that isn’t nostalgic, or forward-thinking, but present with where he is in life today. As this song closes the album, it feels like a perfect way to “take a bow” and drop the curtain at the same time.
While the album is a rollercoaster, so is life. It’s very apparent a lot of time, thought, and effort went into making it, and it pays off. From a more youthful intro/beginning, whirlwind of past memories and future dreams, to addressing the present, Landon shares his story openly for fans to enjoy and know where he is in life. For any readers eager to discover new acts a la Brasstracks, be sure to give this album a listen today.