Arin Ray’s first studio album in four years is finally here. Hello Poison is the follow-up to his 2018 debut album, Platinum Fire, which was expanded with a few more tracks months later.
Ray’s sophomore album contains 15 tracks, including the gleaming “Gold” and “The Mood,” which features D Smoke.
In between those two tracks, he delves into uptown R&B with “Freak,” in which he sings of having a bedroom session that makes his toes curl. Ray ups the ante on “Set It Off,” which he co-produced with Camper and Branden Rowell.
Several guests appear and disappear from Hello Poison. Terrace Martin, a multi-talented musician, co-stars in “Storm,” an auditory antithesis to its title. Brandy contributes backing vocals and a composition credit.
The album’s final four songs are jam-packed with guest appearances. Contributions from Blxst and Ari Lennox are responsible for two of the greatest moments.
Ray is joined by the first act for the playlist-oriented “Bad Idea.” Meanwhile, the Dreamville frontwoman appears in the meditative duet “What It Is.”
The only gripe with “Ms. Frustration,” which features the Nigerian sister duet VanJess, is its length. It deserved a lot more.
Ray relied heavily on Camper for the majority of the writing and production for Hello Poison. To tell the violent cycle of a poisonous love tale, he also enlisted the help of Troy Taylor, Los Hendrix, Bizness Boi, Hitmaka, Ben Lusher, and Stephen Feigenbaum.
On July 21, Ray will support Hello Poison and his other releases (Phase II) at this year’s Cincinnati Music Festival.
Stream Arin Ray’s new album Hello Poison below.