Young Guv: Guv II

Young Guv is the alter ego of Ben Cook, the most talented musician, producer, and artist that you have never heard of. His lyrical and musical prowess spans across genres and has even penetrated the weird world of pop as a ghost-writer for artists like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. His commercial success is widely documented and rightly so. But it is his alter ego’s addition to music that makes real strides.

GUV II is the second installment in a two-part LP series. GUV I graced our eardrums back in August, and thankfully, we didn’t have to wait long for part II. The first installment is filled with catchy, pop-punk tracks that brought with it’s a nostalgic look back over the hazy summer. With such a high level of energy and happy indie-pop weaving its way through the album, it was difficult to imagine what GUV II could bring.

While it is easy to dissect every track on this album, there are some notable tracks worth mentioning. Hinting back at his indie-pop roots, “Can I Luv U My Own Way” is a sweet track that has some hints of America’s “Ventura Highway.” It is an acoustic treat that will mend the heart of any heart in need of a musical hug. Another track worth mentioning is “Forgot to Feel.” It is the surprise track of the album. With a smooth introduction and mellow vocals, it can lull even the most anxious amongst us into a meditative state. While this may not be Young Guv’s usual sound, but it does make you want to hear more.

Generally speaking, mixing acoustics, electro, and a banging bassline is a hard no. There is a real danger of overloading the senses and making a muddled mess. But by magic (or maybe his musical wizardry), Young Guv has infused 80’s synth into “Caught Lookin'” to create a musical wonder. There is very little wrong with this track. I’m a sucker for a good bassline, and this one sucked me in straight away, so that helps. But really, the success of this track comes down to Young Guv’s ability to refine a potentially overproduced track to sound succinct. It’s excellent, and with a sneaky sax solo, it is a potential hit.

There are many notable differences between GUV I and GUV II, but the most obvious one is how finished they sound. On GUV I, each track sounds like it has been dragged through a summer haze. But GUV II is much more refined. He taps into different music genres, from indie to smooth jazz, to create an album that was definitely worth the wait. And as they say, it is best to leave the best until last. GUV II is just that.

Rating: 8.7/10