Since Tim Vocals got locked up last year following the release of his excellent Live From Harlem, we've seen the trope of corner-minded R&B not only keep afloat but find its way to the XXL Freshmen 2014 list. He hasn't missed his moment, and "Look Both Ways," his first track for Hudson Mohawke's LuckyMe, affirms this.
His PYT-era Michael Jackson voice frequently invites comparisons to The Weeknd, but Vocals here has syllables like shell casings. His lyrics eschew mystery and land closer to Mobb Deep with melody, both with the capacity to bruise and bruises of its own. Baauer's beat, a cruise through smog in a new BMW, is a perfect and exciting fit: it has a sadness to the electronics, like each lonely trap drum and rising chord has been given a fresh polish after being abandoned for years. One of 2014's most convincing comebacks.