There’s a definite space of growth between California R&B artist Johnny Rain’s first mixtape WOUNDEDdrug Silent HIGH and his pre-Valentine’s Day release Lullaby Of Machine. First, there’s the sense of interest. Ever since Frank Ocean & The Weeknd (and to an extent Drake) began wallowing on our consciousnesses with hollowed out EDM-style drum patters and stylistic vocal choices about love, hurt, pain, drugs and whatever else you could mix, R&B has been infused with an emo syringe, the likes of which that we might have never been able to see if not for a few moments of straight up heartbreak and callous ambivalence towards love itself.

That woozy, easily accessible sound is what makes L.O.M. work in a much better atmosphere than WOUNDEDdrug. Second, Rain still has that idea of being anonymous down so it just plays into a far evolving character. Take “LLWH” (video below) for example where he wails on about solitude from a woman as his own vocals snake around Jai Paul’s “BTSTU”. The track itself is melodic, haunting with slight distortions and a welcoming drum pattern. You can say the same form fits The Weeknd’s releases on House Of Balloons and the same goes for Lullaby Of Machine, sensual and addictive much like HOB was and how free and cool Ocean’s nostalgia, ULTRA felt.

Naturally, OG Ron C had to rework one of the year’s best R&B tapes (“Twisted High”, “Mulholland Drive, My Ass” & “Pisces” are easy standouts) in a double cupped, chopped not slopped manner. Shocked to see he hadn’t added “Porn In My Rearview” or “Cold Water” to any recent F-Action mixtape because Rain’s vocals match along swampy, steamy synths and drums with the kind of vocals that would make a schoolgirl blush. It’s the next logical step from the progression of Ocean, The Weeknd & Drake – another guy from the ranks who could pull ears left and right with the same sort of hazed out funk that seems to be en vogue. Both the regular version & chopped not slopped version of L.O.M. are available below.