Released: 24th July 2020
Jimothy Lacoste is clearly having a laugh. Everything about his persona, from his obsession for high fashion that feeds into his flexing stage name, to his insistence on sticking “Getting” on the front of every song title on his debut album, feels like the result of a popstar experiment gone wrong. And yet, it works. Jimothy’s ability to play this charade totally straight elevates ‘The Safeway’ from curiosity to curiously compelling.
That commitment to absurdism permeates the entirety of Jimothy’s songwriting process thanks to his instantly recognisable three-way juxtaposition: a tuneless, sardonic delivery, a use of zeitgeisty slang, and the drivetime-radio-jingle quality of his productions. The outcome is music that feels designed to be downloaded from Limewire and traded via bluetooth at the back of school buses, but in a good way.
Billed as a 16-track musical odyssey, ‘The Safeway’ sees Jimothy navigating between ’70s P-Funk bass, ’80s moody synth-pop, and ’00s club tracks. If there’s one thing binding it all together, it’s that all the beats have a spring in their step, whether the subject matter is robbing banks or cutting down on minor MDMA use. An avid fan of Yung Lean, Jimothy Lacoste represents a pivot from sadboi raps to happyboi jams, tongue-in-cheek as they may be.
But what if it is all sincere? Take ‘Getting Love’, a song on which Jimothy coaches his listeners on the importance of valuing love, and not giving up hope in the search for your one true soulmate—your “future bae” in Jimothy’s lingo. Irreverent irony frequently clashes with seeming sincerity across ‘The Safeway’, and yet the finished product is somehow sweeter for this confusion.
If there’s one major thing the record is lacking it’s the presence of Jimothy as a full-blown performer. So much of what made his breakthrough video ‘Getting Busy’ so compelling was the whole package – the red cords, the hypnotic sway of his dad dancing, and the amateur daredevil antics. His music is still undeniably unique, but without the extra zip added by Jimothy’s swaggering screen presence, ‘The Safeway’ ends up feeling a little long in the tooth.