Brooklyn MC SAINt JHN has crash landed back on the scene with his sophomore album “While The World Was Burning.” This is the follow up to his debut project “Ghetto Lenny’s Love Songs,” which I was quite a fan of. It was filled with melodic comatose trap beats accompanied by an eccentric melodic flow from Ghetto Lenny that left me intrigued about where he would go with his next release.
Prior to his follow up record, the lead single “Sucks to be You” and the TikTok smash hit “Roses” definitely had me checking for this album’s release. This record came at a succinct 13 tracks, with the bonus 13th track being the “Roses” (Imanbek Remix), the mix that sent this song flying up the charts via TikTok.
I really appreciate an artist that puts an emphasis on album covers; he really outdid himself with the consistency between both “While The World Was Burning” and “Ghetto Lenny’s Love Songs.” The cover for this record really captures the eye, and it gives a nod to the fans of his prior release where SAINt’s Ghetto Lenny persona is being used yet again to express that this is indeed a follow up endeavor.
What also stood out was the star-studded guest appearances from the likes of Kanye and Future to JID, Lil Uzi Vert, DaBaby and Kehlani. I was surprised to see all the features on this record; it just goes to show how much work SAINt’s put in as well as how many of his contemporaries dig his sound.
Some highlights from this project are the songs that are a continuation from his prior release. Cuts like “Highschool Reunion, Prom” with Lil Uzi and “Monica Lewinsky, Election Year” accompanied by DaBaby are both continuations from his project before, and while I have no issue with it, I feel as if this record is mainly just remixes with a few new pieces to tie everything together. As aforementioned, this album is definitely a follow up from his project last year, judging from the amass of remixes and bonus tracks. Truth be told, I could have done without all of the “Roses” remixes. However, I appreciate and understand what JHN was trying to do as far as converging his two projects, but at the same time, it feels a little lackluster. While this project is very fun production-wise, a lot of the subject revolves around failing relationships and crippling depression while taking a moment to step back and look at the success of his music. I enjoyed the high points of this album; from the fun remixes to the melodic production accompanied by SAINt’s lyrics, there was a lot to like on this album.
On the other hand, it still feels as if this project lacked more ambitious material because it sounds almost exactly the same as the record before. Looking at the tracklist, there’s at least four tracks that are remixes, and as good as they are, they really bloat the album and leave no room for more creativity.
Verdict: Overall, “While The World Was Burning” is definitely a joyride in its entirety: it’s short, sweet and doesn’t last too long. If you were a fan of “Ghetto Lenny’s Love Songs,” then this follow up will either leave you underwhelmed or pleasantly surprised. This album, while falling short of the creativity and hunger as the record prior, still has so much to enjoy that makes the first listen worthwhile.