6LACK Credit: courtesy the artist

Some musicians are intrigued by the charms of eclecticism, but when it comes to the sound of his music, Atlanta R&B singer 6lack (pronounced “black”) never wavers from his focus. If you’ve heard his 2016 hit Prblms, you know what to expect from this year’s East Atlanta Love Letter (LVRN Records): slow-to-midtempo grooves, minimal fuzzed-out beats with ambient synth chill, and laid-back vocals that shift between Auto-Tune whining and quasi hip-hop talk- singing. Lyrically, 6lack is resolutely moody and insular. “I wrote this in a hotel the size of a closet / Just to show I could do it,” he sings in “Scripture,” summing up the feeling of claustrophobic enervation. Even his boasts are half full of self-deprecation, such as on “Loaded Gun,” where he sings, “I got women calling my phone like I owe them somethin’ / It’s kinda my fault / I guess I showed them somethin’.” Following in the footsteps of Drake and the Weeknd, 6lack fuses indie-pop mope and R&B lover-man seduction into a smooth, slow, and sincere love bomb, a formula that also happens to be a marketing juggernaut—the album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200. Though both indie and R&B purists may find the formula irritating, there’s an undeniable languid appeal in 6lack’s hypnotic consistency. He only does the one thing, but he does it well.   v