With ‘A Muse In Her Feelings’, dvsn is bringing 2000s R&B back

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dvsn (pronounced division) is back with their third studio album, A Muse In Her Feelings, a 16-track project full of sultry vocals and slinky basslines.

This comes three years after their 2017 LP, Morning After, which introduced the world to some of their more popular tracks, including Think About Me and Mood.

Consisting of Grammy-winning producer Nineteen85 and singer Daniel Daley, the Canadian Alternative R&B duo is signed under Drake’s OVO Sound record label, and the influence shows. This full-length effort boasts the palpable touch of their signee’s oeuvre—think a crossover between the velvety sounds of Drake’s modern palette coupled with the soft sensuality of early 2000’s Usher. A Muse In Her Feelings is a perfect cocktail of what music in the contemporary R&B space should sound like, tinged with a heavy dose of nostalgia.  

Album opener No Good starts out on a slow, chiming beat as frontman Daley croons “I’m just no good at love… Love ain’t no good for me”. Then comes his familiar head voice peeking in—smooth vocals layered atop a legato style that spans the majority of the album and gives it its cohesiveness.

Similar to this are tracks like Greedy and Between Us. The latter samples Usher’s 1997 classic, Nice and Slow and features Swedish songbird Snoh Aalerga as she laments keenly about the ails of communication, temptation, and intimacy. Following that buttery track comes A Muse, a single released back in January that remains true to their classic, silk on silk production style interpolated with heavy, bass-driven beats and soft vocals.

The album includes collaborations with notable artists like Future, Summer Walker, PARTYNEXTDOOR, and Shantel May. Jessie Reyez also makes an appearance on Courtside—a vulnerable track peppered with plain-stated lyrics delivered beautifully by her raw and raspy tone (“You know how shit be, When mama’s only sixteen years older than me”).

The project also features two subtle dancehall tracks, Dangerous City and So What. The former enlists the help of Ty Dolla $ign and reggae legend Buju Banton, and the synergy is undeniable on this one with its catchy hooks and riffs. The song ends with an alarm blast that serves only to transition to the latter track, with Jamaican singer Popcaan picking up the threads of the reggaeton, island-infused energy. 

My only gripe with this otherwise solid project would be the songs Outlandish and Keep It Going—tracks introduced to us midway through the album that sound fragmented and stylistically confusing at best. At least in the context of an album that has found its groove in the glory of classic, old school R&B beats and mellow tunes. These two songs stick out like a sore thumb in a crop of otherwise smoothly delivered tracks.

That being said, A Muse In Her Feelings is a valiant effort indeed, fit for any Chill Vibes, millennial-curated playlist. Three albums in, but it feels like we’ve only just scratched the surface with this magnetic duo still waiting for the starting pistol to fire off.

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