Westend Music Review: Gold Sodium Vol. 2
Gold Sodium Vol. 2: Tears on the Page is a story about resurgence.
“I’m bout to do it like I never did!”
It sounds as if the Frederick rapper, Ahzay, is handing out a warning to his challengers, as well as making a promise to his supporters.
The album begins with “Never Did,” a track that sets a high energy, empowered tone; revving up the listener for what is to come and what this album represents. A great opener for the return of Gold Sodium, “Never Did” symbolizes triumph after a dark, challenging undergoing.
Gold Sodium Vol. 2 sounds like an album of not only the reflection of the journey, but the acceptance of it. With tracks like “Thank God for the Real,” “The Arrival,” and “When I,” Ahzay now knows the path and work is lonely, but the reward is abundant. He sounds more mature, confident, and reassured with more experiences to share.
From themes of women to past lessons learned to new challenges, Ahzay has found his footing in life and in music. Tracks like “Pride” and “Me Against Me” explore deeper self-reflection and analysis that one can only achieve by going through some things (Vol. 1).
Through this first half is where Ahzay steps out of his usual stance. Here, Ahzay sings. He did not miss an opportunity to deliver his vocals on hooks, bridges, and even throughout the background showing his growth and reach as an artist.
The R&B elements on this project were locally unmatched. With features from talents like Jayvionn on “Diamond Exterior II” and Eddy Michaels on “Mine,” Ahzay selected the cream of the crop. The voices were amazing.
It’s no surprise that Ahzay was just as selective with features in Volume 2 as he was in Volume 1. With the first and highly anticipated collab with Senior Collective partner Brian Cassette, Ahzay chose only those with solidifed and proven talent. Stitch Early arguably had the best feature on the album on “Me Against Me.” But the good thing is, no one showed him up. Ahzay always maintained his presence and held his own lyrically.
The production was flawless and especially stood out on tracks like, “Ride.” With a total of six producers on this project, this local rapper aimed for top-notch sound and arrangment — and hit it right on target. All of the songs were crisp, fluid, and polished. Comprised of 16 tracks, however, the length of the album may have prevented other gems to shine. There were a couple surprises tucked throughout this album like “Plush Interior,” a female-focused song, but all in all, less is more, especially for work with such a strong message.
The album closes with the title track “Tears on the Page” featuring the soulful Calvin Little that highlights how Ahzay used music to get through hard times…and still does.
“I been through it all. Told myself I’d never fall. I put my mind in the music, until it takes ahold me. Now there’s tears on the page…”
Vol. 1 vs. Vol. 2. Which one was better?
While his previous work tapped into the darker side of life in real-time, this album spoke of the sunrise.
In volume 1 he was green to the challenges he was facing. These obstacles were intimidating and life-changing and demanded a different man within him. The man has emerged, grown, and evolved. Now he’s defined, adjusted, and knows how to navigate through life. Though Volume 1 had more diversity in song selection and sound, Volume 2 had better cohesion that serves best for storytelling. The progress is noticeable between the two projects, with stronger delivery, better cohesion and song arrangement.
The Gold Sodium series was a superior work of art. The collection evoked emotion across the spectrum and told real life stories. Ahzay continues to create his own lane and sound that makes him a noteworthy contender in the rap game.
Gold Sodium Vol. 2: Tears on The Page is available on all streaming platforms.
**WESTEND Music Reviews are powered by OUT40 and conducted by the OUT40 Team.*
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