Non Frank Ocean realm, dvsn arguably released the best R&B record of 2016 with Sept. 5. The album was one of loverman slowjams reconstituted by slinky, spacious beats beamed in from the future. Even at its most carnal with tunes such as “Too Deep,” Sept. 5 felt like something robots 100 years from now would be listening to. It managed the none-too-easy task of being both firmly of the moment and forward thinking.
dvsn’s latest joint, “Don’t Choose,” masterfully scrambles all of that up. The carefully calibrated trap-esque drums are still in place, as are the glacially paced keys. For an added sheen, there’s a tricky little musicbox melody thrown in that gives the song a youthful feel even though is strictly some TV-MA/after hours subject matter. To throw all of that off balance is a 60s-soul sample that stings in a way no dvsn track has before. It’s of another time and place and you can hear all of the rawness and grit in the line “I want to be loved.” So much of modern R&B hinges on closely guarded and somewhat walled-off emotionalism, that doesn’t happen here. This is someone cleanly and clearly expressing their innermost thoughts and feelings. Its utterly compelling and a sign that dvsn can work in any time and place.
This is the second new dvsn track we’ve gotten this year, so they may well be working on a follow-up already.