Album Review: Trevor Daniel – Nicotine

While we’re all in lockdown due to COVID-19, there are still many artists/bands releasing music despite the current circumstances. For that reason, it’s worth getting Trevor Daniel’s Nicotine into your earholes if you need an album to get you through this period of quarantine or have the desire to listen to emotive pop numbers with a slight tinge of RnB.

If you haven’t heard of Daniel before, you probably don’t have a TikTok account since the 25-year old artist has built an online reputation on the social media channel, making him well-known for his stellar, love-struck track, “Falling”.

He also managed to snag a deal with Alamo Records which has helped him release his 25-minute debut record, Nicotine under major record label territory (with the help of Interscope Records). To put it simply, Daniel is an overnight success and if you enjoy listening to Post Malone, Landon Cube or Juice Wrld (RIP), you’re bound to fall in love with his latest offering.

In the grand scheme of things, Nicotine is an addictive listen. With the vibrant beats and the poetic songs about love and its complexities, Daniel is a hopeless romantic and isn’t shy from being honest with his words when it comes to songs like, “Lovesick”, “Things We Do For Love” and “All of That”. In a way, you become infatuated with the idea of love and you can feel it in the way he expresses that in his lyrics. It’s like reading a personal diary of Daniel’s life about a lover who he can’t shake off his mind; a serendipitous moment where he has locked eyes with his twin flame.

Overall, the production for this album is mint, with glowing beats and polished instrumentals flowing through the tracks. In a way, Nicotine is glowing in its simplicity and there’s a sense of openness that listeners will experience. It isn’t bold but as a whole, it builds a pristine picture of who Daniel is as an artist: someone who isn’t afraid to express his inner thoughts and feelings, especially when it comes to love.

As you dig deeper into the catalogue of songs, “Disaster” and “Past Life” feels more about the insecurities that come up during relationships, making such connections feel complicated and less stable. There is a stark contrast since these songs are part of the second half of the record, giving it a balanced approach to the infatuation/love side of the album. It feels like Daniel has approached the making of Nicotine with such care and consideration, and as a listener, you don’t feel shortchanged at all.

You could say that Trevor Daniel is an overnight success but he’s definitely not a “one-hit wonder” type of musician. His songs reveal authenticity when it comes to the matters of the heart and you feel compelled to listen to his every word. When more people discover the brilliance of Nicotine, they’ll probably call it quits with the smokes and find their new addiction with this record.

From its lush production value to the stories that unfold in each number, this certainly puts Daniel in a great position where as an artist, he has the power to make you feel the emotions you thought you buried, making for a twisted yet euphoric experience.

Rating: ★★★★ 1/2

Nicotine is out now through Alamo Records/Interscope Records

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