Benny Blanco | Friends Keep Secrets | Album Review

Interscope Records
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Benny Blanco’s debut album Friends Keep Secrets features many big-name artists, including Juice Wrld, Brendon Urie, Calvin Harris, and Halsey among many others. While there is an impressive lineup of new singers, this is the first time Blanco has released songs he has written under his name. 

Each song on this album brings a mix of hip-hop, R&B, pop, and EDM depending on who he collaborated with. The song “More/Diamond Ring,” featuring Ty Dolla $ign and 6LACK, mixes EDM, R&B, and rap with the use of robotic voices and rapid-fire lyrics. “More/Diamond Ring” is interesting considering just how smoothly the electrical voice, singing, and rapping combine together.

“More/Diamond Ring” isn’t the only track where different genres are mixed together. “Better to Lie,” which features Jesse and Swae Lee, also combines different genres together. This song allows Jesse and Swae Lee’s voices to meld with one another. Still, both artists maintain their individual style. Swae Lee spits his verse effortlessly.

One of the most surprising aspects this album brings comes from the song “Roses” where he partners up with Juice Wrld and Brendon Urie. By including pop-punk and hip-hop on one track, “Roses” lacked any sense of cohesion, as did many of the other tracks on Blanco’s new album.

However, “Eastside,” Blanco’s collaboration with Halsey and Khalid, transcends the other tracks that fall short. “Eastside” comes as yet another in a long line of collaborations that Khalid has done throughout the years. With songs like “I Found You” and “Break My Heart,” this song fits in among all the other downtempo collaborations on Friends Keep Secrets.   

Overall, Blanco’s debut album has something for everyone. He shows off his musical prowess by tackling an array of sounds.

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