Gemini Rights: has it earned its rights?


Photo provided by: Annaliese Long

Exploring a solo career separate from his work as guitarist in the band The Internet, Lacy debuted his first EP “Steve Lacy’s Demo” back in 2017, which was followed up by a studio album called “Apollo XXI” in 2019, and a compilation album titled “The Lo-Fis” in 2020. “Gemini Rights” is his second studio album.

Annaliese Long, Features/Entertainment/Opinions/News Editor

In the ongoing saga that is Steve Lacy’s career, there has recently been a new installment. Preceded by singles Mercury, Bad Habit and Sunshine, Lacy’s album Gemini Rights was released on Fri., Jul. 15 and debuted at #7 on the U.S. Billboard 200. A ten-track album that takes on a funk-pop sound, Gemini Rights had the largest debut of any of the singer’s projects.  

The aforementioned funk-pop feel of the album is a perpetuation of the same sound that has dominated a vast majority of Lacy’s work. The singer is heavily involved in both the writing and production of his music and has found a niche for himself within the music world as one of the most popular and respected propellers of modern funk music. The genre-consistency of his music has led his audience to expect a specific sound from him, and certain listeners of the new album were pleased by what they felt was a great continuation of his signature sound. 

“The new album is definitely better than his last one, and every song is very consistent in how good they are. He really mastered that guitar,” senior Tommy Suarez said. “I’d be happy if he kept this direction of music.”

Conversely, some listeners were disappointed by how similar the album felt to Lacy’s prior work. The release of the eccentric, retro-bossa nova inspired Mercury as the album’s lead single back in June appeared to signal a unique shift in Lacy’s music, but those who became fans of the song felt that the rest of the album didn’t follow through with the compelling new sound the track had introduced. 

“I think his newer album showed small glimpses of other music he could make but still had the same sound. I was excited to hear other tracks that sounded like Mercury, but he gave the same sound as his previous works, which were still good but could have been better,” junior Tai Nguyen said. “I’d like for him to do different stuff in the future, switch things up.”

However, amidst the mixed opinions of the general Steve-Lacy-listening population, hardcore fans found lots to appreciate in Gemini Rights and believed that, despite it having stayed true to Lacy’s tried-and true musical formula, it brought a progressive freshness to the artist’s discography. 

“I really enjoyed how he kept the style of his previous projects in certain songs on the album but really delved into a new style with songs like Mercury. He kept his core sound that he’s had on his previous works throughout the whole album with his vocal layering,” sophomore Elle Owens said. “I personally think this album was his best due to the production and genre-bending in it. I’m enjoying the new stylistic choices and this new era of his music.”