‘In the Heights’ Star Anthony Ramos Impresses On Sophomore Album ‘Love and Lies’ [Album Review]

Blending smooth urban R&B with moody pop sounds, actor and musician Anthony Ramos releases his sophomore album Love and Lies. The LP follows his autographical debut The Good & The Bad which was released back in 2019, presenting what is described as ‘an adrenaline-filled record that leads listeners through a night out filled with lust, passion, and losing oneself in living on the edge.’

Ramos, fresh from the success of In the Heights, where he asserts himself as an engaging cinematic leading man, allows legions of new fans the chance to see another layer to his artistic identity with the LP. Delving throughout multiple genres, Love and Lies opens with slick, electronic R&B anthem Blessings playing with the idea that an out of your league person starts showing a bit of interest. Verging into EDM-pop on Lose My Mind, an album highlight, this is a moody summer floorfiller – a soundtrack to 3am club nights drenched in adrenaline-filled sexuality. Latin vibes take centre stage on Échale – a track brimming with energy, nudging you to take that chance, somewhat thematically similar to Blessings.

Title track Love and Lies shines in its percussion-driven electronic production from LP producers Jesse Shatkin and Will Wells providing nostalgic R&B-pop vibes. The slow-burning In the Night builds to a pulsating electronic chorus, with Ramos seductively selling the story of someone who ‘switches on’ in the evenings. Say Less, one of the album’s most emotive tracks, follows – an ode to relationships surviving over long-distances – racked with vocal conviction and sparse production from XELA and Will Wells. Right Now packs Latin-American flavours with absorbing percussive production highlighting the emotive lyricism as Ramos croons “I don’t think you could love me right now,” transporting us to a sun-stroked Cuban evening.

Control sings of giving up-control with sexually-charged lyricism through lines such as “I’m a slave for you” and “You don’t need permission, baby, Take control” serving more slick R&B flavours with a dark undertone. Opening with a gorgeous stringset Masterpiece is a loved-up ode to physical beauty with Ramos’s vocals blending between impassioned rap and soulful crooning. Nobody Else one of the album’s more pop-centric efforts soars as a summer-set car windows-down delight. Penultimate track Satisfy You, as the title suggests, is another romantic anthem with a finger-snapping melody and piano-heavy backing – the track showing yet another string to Ramos’s bow. Album closer I Can’t Get By leans further back into R&B, an emotive track centred on a relationship at standstill.

Love and Lies is an impressive sophomore effort from Anthony Ramos. The album showcases his diversity as a musician, shining in its broad range of musical territories yet still managing to feel cohesive and authentic to Ramos’s voice as an artist. The more pop-centric moments prove to be highlights yet there is an emotive and engaging swagger to be found in Love and Lies’ impassioned R&B anthems and Latin-flavoured gems.

Love and Lies is available through Republic Records. Signed CD copies can be ordered through Anthony’s website.

1. Blessings
2. Lose My Mind
3. Échale
4. Love And Lies
5. In The Night
6. Say Less
7. Right Now
8. Control
9. Masterpiece
10. Nobody Else
11. Satisfy You
12. I Can’t Get By