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  • Writer's pictureVictor Lam

GABRIEL by Keshi (8.5/10) - Album Review

"For all the Asian men"

- Si Hong


The first full-album release for Keshi, GABRIEL, is a fun album to listen to from beginning to end.




Keshi, an up-and-coming Vietnamese-American musician, is a cultural phenomenon within Asian-American pop-culture. There have been countless memes of the typical "Kevin Nguyen" listening to Keshi when they're in their bag 24/7 - but for good reason. The rich vocals and emotion conveyed through his songs are second to none. I will be exploring the full album and its strong and weak points.


Overall, I feel like this was a great project for Keshi to explore new sounds and experiment with various genres as well. In songs like GET IT, WESTSIDE, MILLI, HELL/HEAVEN, & LIMBO, you can easily tell the different sounds compared to his older discography.


In GET IT, there is a heavier use of 808s and deeper vocals, which is a great first track to disorient us with the newfound tone and hypes us up for the rest to come.


In WESTSIDE, the track has a more upbeat and pop vibe compared to his previous work, and suits his style and sound well. It is well paced throughout and has a very catchy chorus.


MILLI is definitely not one of my favorites from the album, but is another risk Keshi took by having a different style of hip-hop influence. Knowing his older music, he does not often relish in his accomplishments and achievements - and usually goes more in-depth with his thoughts and feelings instead. This is definitely a fun track and a well-deserved flex track.


HELL/HEAVEN seems to me to be the most experimental, and Keshi even further explains the meaning of this song during his tours for the album. He mentioned how he was under the influence while writing and producing this song and it led to this. The guitar and high notes in the beginning clearly display the different tone, but afterward switches after to his normal voice with a different flow than usual. He then continues to mix these high notes and his normal vocals throughout the song in a meaningful and synergistic way.


LIMBO, one of the more popular tracks in the album, is in my opinion the best mix of his new and old style. It covers topics of existential crisis, insecurity, and judgement. The song also has a faster flow than usual, with the chorus being the slow portion of the song.


"Has good replay value... I be bumping it on the way to/from work."

- Steven Vuong


I felt like the experimentation throughout the album was a strong point, but with some tracks lacked meaningful lyricism. As I said earlier, I feel like this album has a lot of cultural significance and is easily an album you can digest and listen to from beginning to end multiple times without getting bored.


Favorite Tracks (no order)

  1. WESTSIDE

    1. (8/10, super catchy but less meaningful in terms of lyrics)

  2. TOUCH

    1. (9/10, really enjoy the beat and vocals)

  3. ANGOSTURA

    1. (7/10, similar to his old work but more upbeat & face-paced)

  4. UNDERSTAND

    1. (8/10, good love song to get you in main character mode)

  5. LIMBO

    1. (9/10, fun changes in flow and vocals)


Least Favorite Tracks

  1. MILLI (4/10, repetitive, but fun song to listen to in the car)


As you can tell by the lists above, Keshi did not disappoint with the delivery of this album and the quality of each song. All have its quirks of experimenting new sounds while staying true to himself. Looking so so so forward to what he releases next.


"GABRIEL is an 8.5, album and person."

- Huy Vo

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