The most powerful non-chemical flashbacks are induced by memories of adolescence-the time of your first kiss, first spliff, and those sounds that irrevocably alter the course of your life.
Calvin Valentine’s “Eugene” captures the intensity of those feelings. Released on EYRST, it is a love story to the artist’s Oregon hometown, replete with swooning strings, angelic melodies, extraterrestrial talkboxes, and evocative nostalgia. It’s rap, it’s R&B, it’s soul. It’s one of those indefinable albums that allows you to understand why genre is obsolete. It’s music-a timeless project from an artist who is acutely aware of how much time has elapsed.
On Eugene, Valentine managed to do one of the most difficult things in music: write affecting love songs without coming off sappy, conveying the madness that sweeps you during the first flush of teenage romance without losing a hip-hop edge.
Valentine’s Eugene is a stark declaration of a singular talent. It’s the work of an artist fiercely aware of what made him, who he is, what he loves, and where he’s going. This is an album about growing older and falling in love with different things but never forgetting those memories, never forgetting the place you’ll always call home.