The west coast has been putting out a lot of great R&B talent over the past few years and Arin Ray is just the latest artist to throw his hat into the ring. He wasn’t a name that was on my radar but I was pleasantly surprised by what Platinum Fire had to offer. The sound of the album is rooted in more traditional R&B stylings but with clear hip-hop influences and strong west coast vibes. It’s a distinct sound that gave me strong impressions of early Ty Dolla $ign or even more recently, TDE’s SiR. “We Ain’t Homies” is one of the best contemporary R&B songs I’ve heard in some time and love the way he blends the two sides of the culture – something he does extremely well on the whole album. Vocally, I’d say his range is akin to someone like Frank Ocean and could even pass as his doppelganger on a song like “Stressin.” Overall, Platinum Fire is just a really smooth, vibe heavy listen throughout and although it doesn’t stray too far from typical R&B tropes, it’s a really impressive debut that warrants people’s attention and has made Arin Ray a name I’ll be looking out for in the future.
“You, you ain’t see how it all went down, down
I’m interested, what’s your motivation? (your motivation?)
You say you know me, but got no relation (got no relation)
Your Instagram got you feeling famous
Could give a damn ’bout your confirmation”
Have you heard Platinum Fire? What’d you think about it? Where would you rank this among other debut albums from west coast singers? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions to the album.