The beginning of the Car Therapy album from Slug Agency leader (Brittany) BOSCO unfolds with a sweet impression of contemporary R&B, one that happily allows its bold hallmarks to melt into vapory fields of navel-gazing indie-pop. For the entirety of her career, BOSCO has counterbalanced her voguish nu-soul style with smart, pop-adjacent songwriting. It's a space that pop-soul legend Janet Jackson seems to visit every now and again but always seems to abandon before she really sinks her teeth into it.
Her newest tome starts up with "Greenlight" a piece filled with pastel washes of synthesizers, effects-soaked guitars, chunky drums, and some lighter-than-a-breeze vocals from our singer. She dances on the edge of coming across as nonchalant in her performance, but there’s always enough emotion in her voice to make her sound like an all-cried-out lover as opposed to a "pop bot" with a flat affect. "Changes" slips quietly into the foreground with BOSCO cupping a soft hand around your ear and whispering sweetly about how people and relationships change and all the possibilities that come with that growth. If the trend of artsy videos with big budgets had continued to this day, this would've made for a beautiful piece starring Brittany and actor Aldis Hodge as a couple falling in and out of love over a lifetime. "Carousel" finds the ATL creative strutting cavalierly to an almost dub-like groove as she compares the game of love to various games of chance. But she does so with knowing swagger, sounding more like the De Niro-ish floor-boss who knows "the house always wins" as opposed to a heartbroken player placing foolish bets at a fever pitch. Fellow singer and featured artist DIXSON gives an equally cool performance on the track as he offers up smoky vocals and raises a drink as a sign of respect to BOSCO's chic femme fatale. EP closer "Flatline" plays up its slinky jazz-funk leanings and creates something of a carefree, sunlit vibe that feels like having fun without conditions attached. It has an easy going pace, for sure, but it still plays like a shimmery radio bop.
By and large, Car Therapy lives up to the promise in its title: pairing this EP with a nice car drive to nowhere in particular will absolutely give you a sweet escape from any anxiety or existential dread that may be writhing around in your spirit. Its light, fresh, and pleasing while still offering morsels of sustenance to the soul.
You can check out Car Therapy right now, courtesy of Slug Records/EMPIRE Records, on all streaming services right now.