The latest musical offering from R&B/soul/hip-hop artist B. Mills is called The Life & Times of an Eternal Optimist.
According to Mills, truly an eternal optimist, “Yet, no matter how dark it gets, there’s always a light peeking through the cave. It’s the light of hope and love, and this light remains undefeated against the darkness of doubt and hate. This project shines that light all throughout. Life, love, success, happiness, hopes, desires– we all dream the same things, just in different ways. For we are one.”
One of many remarkable things about this album is the primary contributors all come from Maryland and attended the same high school, DeMatha Catholic High School, in Hyattsville, MD. The four contributors include B. Mills (writer, performer, producer), Vincent “Invincible” Watson (co-producer), Kevin Lee (mixing and mastering), and Jeremy Lubsey.
Mills learned to play the piano when he was five years old. His influences include the Backyard Band, Radiohead, Marvin Gaye, and Kendrick Lamar.
Featuring eight tracks, the album opens with “And We Rise,” an R&B-flavored hip-hop-lite tune with radiant streaming colors flowing over a brawny kick drum. “The Light” blends hip-hop, pop, and R&B aromas into a suave tune rife with velvety vocals and tinctured harmonies. The overall mood of this song is stylish laid-back buoyancy.
“Get Up 2 Get Down” starts off with glimmering synths seguing into a dreamy, creamy R&B melody. A darting, psychedelic tone accents the simmering colors of the strings, as the vocals take on a combination of rap and melodic flows. I love the fusion of R&B and hip-hop, giving the tune smooth emerging colors.
Other highlights on the album embrace “If U Will,” an effervescent feel-good tune riding pop flavors, while glowing with tasty, sonorous vocal harmonies. One of my personal favorites is “Slow Motion,” a measured soul-infused R&B number oozing with a persuasive cashmere feel. Mills’ voice exudes silky timbres soaked with cool, delicious savors.
The Life & Times of an Eternal Optimist suffuses enticing, viscous energy, while B. Mills’ dulcet voice permeates the music with seductively expectant ambience.