With multiple single releases and a successful debut album out of the way, Dutch DJ duo Yellow Claw looks to continue making noise with their second album, Los Amsterdam.
The album begins with “Home” and features Sophie Simmons on vocals. Its dreamy atmosphere and heartfelt vocals wonderfully combine, giving a positive welcoming for listeners to Los Amsterdam. The second track, “Without You,” features Gia Koka and The Galaxy and maintains a smooth vibe with a little added aggression for the song’s drop, which isn’t as exciting as I’ve hoped for it to be. “Love & War” features a cool and expressive performance by Yade Lauren on the vocals, and the drop is more eventful here with hard-driving synths and spliced vocals.
“Good Day,” featuring DJ Snake and Elliphant, is dominated by a four-to-the-floor beat and once again depends on spliced vocals for the drop. It ends with a rather darker instrumental, leading up to the fifth track, “Open.” This track has a pacier beat and goes for a house-style dance track, with a melodic short synth leading the way at the drop. “City on Lockdown” featuring Juicy J and Lil Debbie is your traditional hard-driving hip-hop and trap beat, adding chaos to a dance atmosphere. The drop is also once again a little disappointing but it doesn’t take too much away from the song’s vibe.
The album relaxes back with “Friends In the Dark” featuring Otis Parker, going back to using generic dance pop elements to carry the album along, while “Stacks” featuring Cesqueaux, Quavo, and Tinie Tempah brings the heat and the pace. While the highly sexualized theme featuring ultra-lame lyrics such as, “Big stack, throw it on ‘em big fat titties / And I’m lookin’ for some bitches I can take back with me” doesn’t excite me, the drop is certainly better than what I’ve heard in the album so far.
“Last Paradise,” a short track that clocks out at 2:43, has the sound that allows Sody’s vocal performance to shine and has an anthemic drop with a big presence. “Light Years” features another strong vocal performance, this time from Rochelle, and also uses a little more obvious 80’s synthpop elements to add some texture to the song.
The album takes another dark turn with “Hold On To Me” featuring GTA, and its unpredictable drops adds some much-needed excitement. “Rose Horizon” goes out with an explosive instrumental and powerful vocals by Stor-I, and is followed by “Invitation,” which closes out Los Amsterdam. It features the return of Yade Lauren on vocals and hears some moombahton elements to drive the song’s energy along. As the album’s last track, this is also probably the best track on it.
Overall, Los Amsterdam by Yellow Claw is an underwhelming release. Not only the variety is lacking to begin with, but there isn’t much excitement with what they’re already offering, either. Sure, there are some bright spots within the album, but looking at Los Amsterdam as a whole, there isn’t significant moments where I can say, “Yeah, this certainly screams like Yellow Claw!” and get hyped over it. Think of a house party that Yellow Claw is invited to, and they bring in nice, deliciously-looking lasagna for the other guests. Except all the other guests also brought lasagna and they’re all overloaded with cheese. That’s how Los Amsterdam compares with other EDM recordings out there.
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