Yen-J’s sixth album “Why? Art?” promised to be one of his most creatively charged works yet, as Yen-J expressed this album to show off a darker side to him than the clean-cut image presented in his previous albums. And as always, Yen-J was true to his word. Although the Jazz maestro threw in a couple of Jazz tracks such as the easy listening “Traveler” and “4 days 23 hours” which was a jolly Swing piece, the remaining tracks sampled from a darker set of genres including EDM, Rock and Hip Hop to give each song a moody undertone, before skilfully layering in elements from other genres in each song.
Although Yen-J had given fair warning that the album might be a bit more radical than his previous ones, I was in fact more than pleased to see him taking a more critical approach to his music. Although I have always appreciated Yen-J’s authenticity and zest for creating new fusions and combinations in his music, I have always yearned to hear him use not just his melodies, but also his lyrics as a tool to discuss topics other than love and the usual light-hearted fluff he usually sings about. This time however, he did exactly that, launching into a robust critique on society within the first track on the album, “Ashtray”.