Saba’s new album, “Few Good Things” under the microscope


Saba’s entire album focuses on his struggle of giving back to his community and peers. Image found on Instagram @sabapivot

Alani Huynh, Staff Writer

     Saba’s album, “Few Good Things,”  released Feb. 4, brought together the artistic integrity of telling a meaningful story with rhythmic and enticing sounds that exceed expectations.  

     The album begins with an ethereal opening, captivating listeners with sounds of serenity. This is instantly juxtaposed with the melancholy lyrics of featured artist, Cheflee, setting the stage for what’s to come. 

   The 14 song album takes listeners on a journey through what is presumed to be Saba’s life, and how money has impacted and changed him now that he has hit fame. One of the particular details embedded in the album that was intriguing was the song order. Within the first song, “Free Samples,” we learn about some of Saba’s past where the loss of fearing property is mentioned. Saba also reminisces on his time growing up in West Chicago, fearing homelessness and struggling away from poverty. The line in this piece, “I’m the grandson of Carl who lived across from the fosters / Then fostered me to spread love through holiday poverty / Hand-me-downs I was given, I thought they were bought for me,” stands out as it begins to unravel the album’s overarching theme of money management. 

   Saba’s second song, “One Way or Every N**** With a Budget,” fiercely contrasts the first song as it talks of Saba’s over generosity and impulse spending. The lyrical formatting is interesting in this piece as it follows a structure of ABAB, where A is a line indicating Saba’s abundant spending pattern and B is either, “It’s a one way street though” or “On the one way street though.” This song actively displays Saba as boasting how much money he spends, which can connect back to the spreading of love mentioned in “Free Samples.” Most of the splurging Saba recalls within the song deals with paying for or providing for peers. When each of these A lines are followed by the reminder that it is a one way street, it is made clear that Saba is aware that there are repercussions for his reckless spending, but is also battling with the fear that he is not giving away enough. This opens the can of worms regarding what to do with money once you have it. 

   Saba’s entire album focuses on his struggle between giving back to his community and peers, while also ensuring that he stays afloat and spends responsibly. Rather than analyzing all the songs and spoiling all the fun, I encourage others to take a listen and find some meaning behind the lyrics – and if lyrics aren’t your thing, give the album a chance for its funky tunes. The album’s best songs are “Fearmonger (feat. Daoud)” and “Come My Way (feat. Krayzie Bone).” These two songs are a great toe-dipper into the album and truly stand out in regards to both their musicality and production. However, one critique would be that the songs all have very similar beats. Where it was difficult to distinguish one song from another, or whether or not the song had changed. 

    An album with 14 songs is a solidly lengthened one, and to not realize the song had changed hints that there possibly could have been more distinguishable or iconic sounds within each individual song to make them stand out from each other. Overall Saba’s album was greatly pleasurable with each song reaching 500,000-1,000,000 streams on Spotify. It’s great to see Saba gain more well deserved attention and it’s exciting to see what he will drop in the future.