EP Review | Isaac Zale – Stay Out of the Water

This extended play was released on June 26th this year. Isaac Zale may look like an unfamiliar name, but I’ve written about him a few times. He used to go by Zac Flewids, but he changed his stage name earlier this year. I first heard about him when he dropped his Songs to Drown To EP in September of 2019. I didn’t actually listen to the full project until recently, but it’s very good, so you should check it out if you haven’t yet. I heard the Apple Music version, which has 5 tracks, but I’m pretty sure there’s another version with two additional songs. Anyway, as much as I liked that project, I’m not really sure how I’m gonna feel about this one. Every single track has a feature that I’ve never heard of, so that’s why I’m a bit apprehensive. I’m sure Isaac’s actual performances here will be dope though. I don’t have any of the production credits as of June 26th at 1:49 PM EST, but I’m just gonna assume that all of the beats are handled by Cherry Blu, since that’s who produced Songs to Drown To.

1. Shoot Me Down produced by NXSTY

I didn’t realize it until after I’d listened to the full project, but almost every artist that’s listed as a feature on this EP is actually just the producer. Anyway, this song is really the only track that I would say I love, which I guess is kind of ironic because I was pretty torn on it at first. It’s really not the kinda thing that I would typically listen to, but I just think it’s a very fun track. The bouncy production seems to have some Latin influence, and I think this song has the best hook on the project. The project as a whole feels more melodic than Isaac’s previous EP, but maybe I’m just misremembering it. The first verse on this song is great.
Fuck anybody ever got shade for me
Gotta tree so tall that the shadows breathe
And the fruits spill blood when you try to eat
My Adam’s apple is a meal for Eve
They tried to stab me through my left oblique
I dare you, homie, I bet the blade’ll bleed
I’m not scared of death since the DMT
I’m just scared Jehovah don’t got a place for me
I honestly don’t dislike a single aspect of this song. I appreciated him using “micro-soft” as an insult. I always wondered why more people didn’t do that. The hook on this song is super catchy, especially when he reaches into that higher register of his voice. This shit is dope af to me.

2. A Girl Is a Gun produced by Licka Rish

I don’t really care for this track personally. I don’t think it’s really bad, but it’s just not something that I’d come back to. The production isn’t particularly enjoyable for me, and I just wasn’t very interested lyrically. He interpolated the melody of The Weeknd’s Starboy single on the hook, which I guess is kinda cool, but it just makes me wanna listen to that song instead. The song is just kind of bland to me. Nothing about it stands out in a really memorable way. Again, I don’t think it’s bad, but I won’t be listening to it again.

3. Ares produced by Licka Rish

This is probably my second favorite song on the project to be honest. I actually like Licka Rish’s production here, and the shiny vocals from Isaac on the hook sound super clean. I think the first verse on this track was pretty cool, but the second one definitely stood out to me more lyrically.
The gat don’t make you a stronger man
Choosin’ mercy any chance you can
Only god can hurt me, I’m a fluid man
And no god can save me, but the music can
One thing I’ve always loved about Isaac is how silky smooth and clean his flow is. Every syllable always sounds crystal clear. I think this is a very well written song. I don’t think the lyrics are gonna blow anyone away or anything, but it’s still very well done. This shit is dope.

4. Reachin’ produced by NXSTY

NXSTY’s production here kinda has the same atmosphere of the other beat he provided, although this one sounds less Latin-influenced. Honestly, this might actually be my favorite beat on the project. I’m not in love with the hook on this track, but it’s not really bad to me. It’s just kinda there. It gets the job done. I do wish the melody was a bit less repetitive, but it’s not a huge issue for me. When it comes to lyrical content, this is definitely a highlight for me. It’s interesting to hear Isaac rap about his struggles with addiction.
Ricky said, “don’t get high off your own supply”
When I first tried white I was finally ‘live
’Til my skin turned white like a poltergeist
Tryna find the holy ghost on a ghoulish night
The hook kinda tarnished this song for me, especially on my first listen, but I like it more now than I initially did. I think the song is pretty dope.

5. Lynx featuring Vic August produced by Licka Rish

This is easily my least favorite track on the project. Isaac’s performance here is fine, albeit forgettable. It’s mainly the feature from Vic August that I really dislike. He kinda reminded me of like… Maybe Nav or Lil Durk. I’m just really not into that style of Hip Hop at all. If Nav had a less robotic voice and sounded smokier, then I think he would sound like this Vic August dude. I guess it’s closer to Travis Scott than anything. The production is pretty conventional, and the lyrical content doesn’t particularly interest me. This is just a very vapid song to me. I wouldn’t say it’s bad, but for me it’s just very mediocre.

6. Garden produced by Licka Rish

Out of all the beats that Licka Rish provided for this project, this is definitely my favorite. Pretty much everything I said about the hook from Reachin’ applies to this song as well. The melody is just super repetitive. It’s not a terrible hook or anything, but I can say that it’s my least favorite aspect of this song. The actual rapping from Isaac is thankfully pretty dope.
You hella guarded, come meet me in the garden
Let’s forget about our stresses, take it back to where it started
We got the fruit in abundance, I’m sick of the drugs and blood and
Wakin’ up to more devastation, I’m complacent with this guardin’
Both of the verses on this song are nice. Again, the hook is not that great, but aside from that I fuck with this track. This shit is dope.

Overall, I think this is a pretty good project. I enjoyed the preceding extended play a bit more just because I think the highlights were a bit more memorable, but this is still a very satisfactory project. I wasn’t really crazy about the production from Licka Rish, and I think some of the vocal melodies from Isaac got a little predictable and stale as the EP progressed, but as a whole this shit was dope. I tended to enjoy the more personal lyrics about his struggles with addiction rather than the sexual content, which shouldn’t be a surprise if you know me well. If you’re into Pop Rap in general, I think this is definitely worth checking out. I’m looking forward to seeing how Isaac develops as an artist because he’s already clearly a very talented dude. Check this shit out. It’s dope.


SCORE: 75 (B-)