R.Y.C. (Raw Youth Collage)
R.Y.C (or Raw Youth Collage) is Mura Masa’s (Alex Crossan) sophomore effort after 2017’s self-titled debut. Adapting his style towards a more nostalgic indie sound the album presents the listener with a scathing presentation of youth culture and its vexation at contemporary Britain.
Taking such a drastic change in sonic direction has opened Crossan up to severe criticism. With claims that the music is "so mediocre, it's not even entertainingly bad." A gross underestimation of the musical capacity to influence and affect the youth's cultural perception of society. Crossan's artistic influences and tastes have evidently varied from the unique perspective of his earlier projects, in which he combined glitchy beats with smooth and lyrical melody lines. R.Y.C. adopts a scrapbook feel of contemporary fashion presenting lots of collage pieces but never fully exploring them to their full potential. This trend has seen a significant increase as of recent with projects such as Everyday Life (Coldplay, 2019), Virtual Self (Virtual Self, 2018), Music to listen to~dance to~blaze to~pray to~feed to~sleep to~talk to~grind to~trip to~breathe to~help to~hurt to~scroll to~roll to~love to~hate to~learn Too~plot to~play to~be to~feel to~breed to~sweat to~dream to~hide to~live to~die to~GO TO (Bring Me The Horizon, 2020) and A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships (The 1975, 2018). The majority of which attempt to analysis and answer deep societal questions regarding the moral actions of the aristocracy. Crossan and the numerous collaborating artists on the record (including slowthai, Clairo and Ellie Rowsell) follow suit by bringing awareness to the issues of hopelessness felt by the contemporary youth. Like youth cultures of the past, the new always find themselves at the forefront of human development. The evolution of technology, namely the internet, has aided current sub-youth cultures in their thirst for constant stimulation. Scrapbooking musical genres and influence in a song, or even over the course of an album, appeals to this frantic state of constant incitement; allowing the messages to be absorbed with more sincerity.
This album will by no means define a generation, however, it is much more than the lack-lustre entertainment it has been presented to be by the mainstream press. It develops the listener’s palette for the expansion of progressive statements as well as the diversion on musical styles.