Future and Metro Boomin? More like Slumber and Metro Snoozin – “We Don’t Trust You”

For Fans of: overrated rappers and producers

With one of the most popular rappers and well-known producers getting together for a collaborative project, you would expect fireworks. Instead, Future and Metro Boomin’s “We Don’t Trust You” is just a very average pop-trap album. Is it bad? Definitely not! There are some good flows and decent beats across this record, but considering the length of it, it is not nearly consistent enough to warrant a full listen. I found myself continually checking my phone to see how many tracks were left.

It’s impossible to talk about this album without mentioning what has easily become its most discussed track — “Like That,” featuring Kendrick Lamar. Not only is this song one of the most energetic and interestingly assembled songs on the project, but Lamar’s verse takes explicit shots at Drake and J. Cole, which has had the rap community abuzz. 

Other than this much-discussed highlight, the album is just alright. It’s well-produced enough, Future most of the time knows how to carry a flow, but it’s not much but a background vibe for me. Big fans of Future and Metro will likely have a ball, but for an album that felt like it was supposed to be an “event,” it’s mostly a snoozer in my eyes.

Overall Rating: 5/10

 

Lizzy McAlpine still sounds like Phoebe Bridgers on “Older”

For fans of: (surprise, surprise) Phoebe Bridgers

Lizzy McAlpine is probably the most well-known of the modern wave of singer-songwriters who borrow much of their sound from Phoebe Bridgers. Of course, Bridgers did not invent her sound completely on her own; she certainly takes influence from Bright Eyes and Elliott Smith. In the case of McAlpine, it’s very clear that Bridgers is her main inspiration. While there are some instrumental differences between the two, her style of vocal delivery, lyrics, and general sound palette feel straight off of “Stranger In The Alps.”

Despite this, I wouldn’t say this record is bad –– in fact, far from it. I mean, I love Phoebe Bridgers, and while this isn’t quite on her level quality-wise, it’s a really solid album. Again, this does work against it in ways, since McAlpine definitely could be doing more to beat the “sounding-like-Phoebe” allegations, but it’s all still pleasant and lovely to the ear, even if it does get derivative or cliche at times.

Highlights for me included the title track, which is a vulnerable piano ballad about reckoning with aging, and “Broken Glass,” which has one of the more interesting progressions on the album, with dramatic strings swelling as the track bursts into louder instrumentation.

This is a good album. In a world without “Punisher,” it would be a great one. I just think Lizzy needs to do more to find her own identity and sound.

Overall Rating: 7/10

 

Benson Boone’s “Fireworks & Rollerblades” is an album

For Fans of: top 40 Ballads

Benson Boone is an artist who is in the strange position of being very popular, yet relatively unknown as a name, at least in my experience. I only know of him because I have a friend who is a big fan of his; despite many of his songs gaining massive traction, he doesn’t have the name recognition of most pop stars. Perhaps that’s because his music does so little to stand out from the crowd that he can’t be picked out of a lineup.

I’ll give Boone this — he definitely is trying on his new album “Fireworks & Rollerblades.” “Slow It Down” and “Beautiful Things” (although the latter has a somewhat overblown chorus) show him giving a lot of vocal effort, and results in two of the best songs on the album. “Slow It Down” in particular has a good progression and feels like the most developed song on the album.

However, the rest of the album is just plain pop balladry. It’s well-produced enough, and Boone seems to have a bit more emotional conviction than most of the bland piano crooners, but that doesn’t change the songs from sounding sonically and lyrically indistinguishable from any radio ballad of the last five years.

It doesn’t help that melodies on the record occasionally feel recycled. The bridge of “Be Someone” has echoes of Lewis Capaldi’s “Somebody To Love” (and, oddly enough, “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid). “In The Stars” has strong echoes of Alessia Cara’s “Scars To Your Beautiful.” I don’t see these as direct rip-offs; they seem very unintentional and in general aren’t exactly the same as the songs they sound like. But it’s distracting enough that I noticed.

This is a fine album. The songs are alright. I don’t have many complaints, but I have little in the way of praise. It’s just a generic pop album. It’s not bad, but I can confidently say that I won’t be coming back to it on my own time.

Overall Rating: 5/10

 

A Labyrinth of Grooves and Devastation- Civerous’ “Maze Envy”

For Fans of: Gatecreeper, Primitive Man

Extreme metal outfit Civerous presents a riveting odyssey of death and doom metal on this short but dense LP. While the production is heavy, the vocals are menacing, and the riffs are fantastic, what impressed me the most about this album is the songwriting. Most of the songs on this album exceed eight minutes in length, but are so well paced that you hardly notice them as the songs fluidly shift and transform through passages of relentless blast beats to pummeling doom metal chugs to beautiful guitar leads and strings. 

The instrumentation here is fantastic. The drumming is dynamic and there is a lot of variety in the riffs, expertly combining various styles of metal while still feeling well put together. There are some standout guitar solos and careening drum fills, both of which are bolstered by dense production with a grimy bass tone and powerful snare hit to boot.

The vocals, as expected in this type of metal, are an instrument themselves, with low growls and roars occasionally permeated by high, black metal shrieks. They act as a good compliment to the bludgeoning surroundings, a grim voice over a wasteland of guitars and drums.

Overall, this album is a must-hear for any fans of death metal and doom metal. It’s probably not going to sway anyone who isn’t already a metalhead, but for those who are, it’s a real treat.

Overall Rating: 9/10



5 students banned from campus for Gaza solidarity encampment

UR has been banning community members from campus since November for on-campus protests, but the first bans for current students were issued this weekend.

Colin’s Review Rundown: Future and Metro Boomin, Lizzy McAlpine, Benson Boone, Civerous

Is it bad? Definitely not! But I found myself continually checking my phone to see how many tracks were left.

The Clothesline Project gives a voice to the unheard

The Clothesline Project was started in 1990 when founder Carol Chichetto hung a clothesline with 31 shirts designed by survivors of domestic abuse, rape, and childhood sexual assault.