Prins Thomas has made a career of forward surges and calculated retreats. Rather than be sandwiched into a particular lane or sound, he’s flirted with being defined for years now, never quite slipping into a set role.

To be sure, his music has generally always retained a spacey quality, but rather than leaning into space disco, 2016’s Principe del Norte toyed with a more ambient sound, letting grooves wash over you casually and gradually.

Ambitions, then, seems to perhaps be Thomas finally settling into his comfort zone, accepting just who he is, and just what he does best. He’s never sounded more confident and at ease than here, on his 6th album.

Fitting his casual regard for recording and the LP format, Ambitions wasn’t even intended to be an album at its genesis. Conceived as separate snapshots across 2 years, dashed out in hotel rooms, plane rides, and backstage as far afield as Osaka, a common thread gradually appeared, leading to the surprisingly cohesive work before us.

Piecing the songs together into a whole in his Oslo studio, a fully realized vision emerged. Likely due to their separate births, the tracks never risk bleeding together, each offering its own, fully realized little sonic world, while all managing to run together for one breezy, cohesive affair.

This is decidedly bright music, meant for lazy days at home as the afternoon crests through slittled blinds, creating that warm sense of haze that only that time of the day can offer. The appropriately titled opener, ‘Foreplay’, sets the mood admirably, a simple, gentle whirl opening the listener up to the pleasures soon to come.

‘XSB’ instantly kicks things into a higher gear, with a forward-driving rhythm propelling the remainder of the LP forward. This isn’t to call Ambitions a, well, ambitionless affair. The title track, as well as ‘Fra Miami til Chicago’, smack dab in the middle of the album, both extend beyond 10 minutes, and boast Thomas at his most curious and emboldened.

Generally speaking, Ambitions manages to boast Prins Thomas, and all of his varying interests, at their best. There’s no hesitation to be found here, only a constantly moving narrative and sublime certainty of intent. It never quite runs, but that’s clearly by design, and you can’t do much better in 2019 thus far when it comes to creatively intriguing relaxation vibes.