Joe Lington brings a trio of tracks on EP “WTPA”, a collection of catchy R&B bops that serves as the perfect appetizer for what’s to come.
As Lington tells us, the EP precedes a planned 2024 album “Pinkteen”, which will house these three tracks. Bouncing between French and English, the album is straight-up R&B with a retro tinge and is particularly notable for its crystal clear instrumental mixing and distinctive and driving bass lines throughout. The production is minimal, reminding us of Jermaine Dupri productions of the past (think “Emancipation of Mimi” days), allowing Lington to take up most of the space in the tracks with his layered vocals.
It is evident that Lington is a methodical artist, as all of his backgrounds are akin to choral arrangements, and his leads are always accompanied by a sharp harmony or counterpoint. The EP begins with the title track “WTPA”, kicking off with immediate tension of the strings before diving into a 00s-era R&B beat. Standing for where the party at, it certainly evokes Jagged Edge’s version in the phrasing and melody of the chorus. That era imbues the track overall, reminding us very much of tracks by Mario and Joe. We have our only guest of the project on this track, Isabel Izzy, who brings a sultriness to the track. The song bounces between French and English, and Lington’s vocals shine especially when he flies up into his falsetto. This brings us to “Pinkeen.”
According to Lington, a Pinkeen is “a woman who repeats the same pattern over and over in all of her relationships until she realizes that she needs to do some therapy in order to break those habits because she destroyed all her partners each time.” Heavy stuff. With this track, we get the soul side of Lington’s R&B influences, with a choral background in a call and response with the lead, not to mention the “heys” and “hos” reminiscent of Kris Kross’s “Jump.” With a buzzy lead bass, the track is more of a vocal riff and interlude, clocking in at just over a minute long, and again showcases Lington slipping around his falsetto in a very Prince-like fashion. We definitely think this one needs an extended cut, especially since Lington is introducing new slang vocabulary.
We’d love for Lington to take a page from TLC and like they did with “scrubs”, teach us all about the ins and outs of how a “pinkeen” lives their life. Finally, we get the album closer “Hypocrisy”, which is definitely giving us vibes of “You Should Let Me Love You” by Mario mixed with some Ciara “Promise” and a touch of “My Love” by Justin Timberlake. Slipping back into French, Lington is now fully getting his falsetto on, which at times harkens to Prince, and other times more Maxwell. It’s another clean production with probably the best vocal mix of the three. The backgrounds sit nicely in the support position. With three solid tracks, we look forward to what Lington serves up in his forthcoming LP.
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