“Intimidated” - KAYTRANADA Review

Story posted November 23, 2021 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Caelan Chevrier

Haitian-Canadian record producer and DJ, Kaytranada is back with a new three-track EP, “Intimidated.” He has recently grown in popularity, especially with his big win for “Best Dance/Electronic Album” for his newest record, “BUBBA,” at the 2021 Grammy Award Show.

He announced the EP via his Twitter account a week before its release, generating buzz throughout the electronic and dance community. With features from H.E.R., Thundercat, and Mach-Hommy, there was a lot to be excited about considering his consistency working with a wide variety of artists throughout the industry.

To no surprise, “Intimidated” delivers using Kaytranada’s signature sound, but with its short runtime, it does not expand on anything greater.

Shortly after its release, Kaytranada returned to Twitter to survey fans. He asked which track was his listener's favorite, and the clear winner is “Be Careful” featuring Thundercat.

Despite being the shortest song on the album, it packs the heaviest punch due to its glamorous production, and stellar vocal performance from the Los Angeles singer and bassist.

From the drum selection to the variety of ethereal-sounding synthesizers it is apparent that Kaytranada is one of the best in the industry when it comes to sound design. The four on the floor drums keep the beat steady, but percs drenched in reverb kick in, expanding the dimensions of such a simple, yet catchy beat.

Thundercat glides over the track using his signature high-pitched vocals and delivers sweet but sexy lyrics. He sings, “I just wanna see you move | I only got dressed up for you Be careful how you look at me | 'Cause we might not make it out the room.”

The track is absolute ear candy, and arguably one of the best Kaytranada tracks of all time.

The title track, “Intimidated,” featuring H.E.R. is not a bad cut either. Structured around a bouncy piano loop, the beat quickly becomes infectious.

H.E.R.’s performance is solid, but lyrically it is not too memorable. She matches the uplifting tone of the track well, and the two prove that they have great chemistry together.

However, the drum pattern/samples of the track seem copied and pasted from the “BUBBA” sessions, leaving a taste of similarity in fans' mouths.

The closer, $payforhaiti, is where Kaytranada takes his biggest risks, but it also does not necessarily pay off. Featured artist, Mach-Hommy begins the track rapping in Kreyòl, as he also comes from a Haitian background.

He has a very intricate rhyme scheme and flows, but his singing ability has room for improvement. Kaytranada’s production is left-field as well, playing with a unique chord progression and sound palette.

The track is decent, but it feels like it is missing a few key elements, making it, unfortunately, a little forgettable. Kaytranada has explored foreign music before, with a much better outcome.

“Intimidated” sounds like only Kaytranada could have made it, the style of production is very funky and wavy. It is a quick, yet enjoyable listen.

Although he sticks to his roots, fans should be able to take pleasure in the EP and look forward to whatever the producer comes out with next.

Rating: 6/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “Intimidated,” “Be Careful”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: N/A

Caelan Chevrier is a second-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email cjc6789@psu.edu.

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Caelan Chevrier

Third Year / Marketing & Journalism

Caelan Chevrier is a third-year student in the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University studying marketing and broadcast journalism with the goal of graduating with a bachelor’s degree in four years. His career goal is to spread informative, meaningful, and entertaining content across various platforms and to be a positive impact on the community. He has also spent time working at WWE in the communications department and writing for The Westport Local Press in his hometown of Westport, CT. If you’d like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).