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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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You’re not a poet; you’re a liar | “Alesis” by Mk.gee

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Gentle haze, self-reflection and bittersweet intimacy define Mk.gee’s latest album, Two Star & The Dream Police, released on Feb. 9, 2024. The Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter’s innovative project blends experimental R&B and bedroom pop-inspired sounds with thoughtful lo-fi production.

“Alesis,” the ninth track on the project, stands out as one of my favorites. The track explores notions of escapism and imposter syndrome without ever taking itself too seriously. The lyrics are playful, leaving room for layers of glistening sounds tucked away for listeners to discover on repeat listens. The bassline is simple but complements the stripped-down drums well, creating a catchy foundation for the track. Synths swell in and out throughout the chorus as Mk.gee makes a plea to his lover:

“Why me? Or better, why you? /

When we can fake it like any way we want to. /

Why bleed when we don’t have to? /

Yeah, just shut your mouth, I only really want you.”

Throughout the album, Mk.gee strays away from traditional notions of structure prevalent in many contemporary R&B and pop records. The abstractions in the interplay of his vocals and the instrumentals encourage listeners to let go of expectations and immerse themselves in the ethereal energy of the album. Fans of Dijon’s music, particularly those who appreciated many of the tracks on “Absolutely,” may find Mk.gee’s style appealing, as he was one of the project’s main producers. In a way, Two Star & The Dream Police seems to take many of the key ideas from Dijon’s music — authentic and intimate production and storytelling — and translate them into something more synth-heavy and ’80s-influenced.

Mk.gee is quickly emerging as a favorite among experimental R&B artists, and with this record, he has solidified himself as a mainstay in the genre.

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