Victor Oladipo's singing talent has long been on display. At Indiana University, he showed it to the world with a fantastic performance of Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers.
Oladipo's first EP, Songs for You, was released Friday, and it's a solid listen. There are seven tracks, beginning with lead single, Song for You, which is a great mood setter for everything that will follow. Songs for You is a soulful R&B album from beginning to end. It's strong and emotional and hits the all chords it should hit. Anybody in the process of a break up might want to throw this on a playlist.
The album continues on about past relationships, with a setup somewhat mirroring the seven stages of grief. It begins with a powerful statement of shock and slowly moves into a darker place. It eventually moves back up to, not happiness, but more of an acceptance of what has happened with a tone shift matching the beginning.
The album starts off strong and finishes a little weak, but it's good enough to stand on its own. Features from guest artists 2 Chainz and Eric Bellinger are welcome editions that don't feel forced in, but they do outperform Oladipo a bit on his own album. However, Oladipo carries himself well and doesn't need their verses to carry him.
Is Oladipo's album just good for an NBA player or a legitimately good collection of music? NBA players have a longer history of dabbling more in rapping than singing, but this release is definitely better than most of those rap projects. I'm not sure if I'd put any of these on a playlist, but if I came across any of these songs again I will not be opposed to listening through them.
Songs for You is available on Apple Music and Spotify.