Review: Blackbear ‘digital druglord’

Less than a month after releasing his collaborative full length Mansionz with Mike Posner, American singer Matthew Tyler Must (better known as Blackbear) is back with his third full length solo LP digital druglord.

Upon first listen, this project (which clocks in at just over a half hour in length) feels wildly inconsistent, packed with far too many ideas and not enough time to execute them properly.

Sparse introduction track “hell is where i dreamt of u and woke up alone” attempts to summarize the record with little success, losing its identity somewhere in the mix of absolutely atrocious lyrical content (“my nose is burning, too much cocaine/got cut in Brooklyn, with gasoline backed up with cellophane” and “I’m probably gonna die like everybody else/is that such a fucking lie”), forced piano and lazy vocals drenched in syrup-y manipulations.

Most of the rest of the album is presented on recycled variations of one ‘original’ trap beat, with some psychedelic and electro textures occasionally tossed in to increase the faux nostalgic, pill popping vibe that this album attempts to broadcast. And while most of these heavy trap leaning tracks sound identical, they’re still a hell of a lot better than the ‘clean’ tracks. “double” in particular seems sterile; in addition to being underproduced, revealing heavy amounts of auto tune, the lyrical content here is just as boring (if not more so) than the lyrical content on the preceding tracks.

Despite these obvious flaws, however, there’s still potential to be found on this tumblr feed of an album. “do re mi” surprisingly manages to hone multiple genres and themes into one exciting, catchy track, something that most of the rest of the album simply danced around. Meanwhile the production work on “chateau”, another standout, perfectly oscillates between wobbly and smooth.

Best tracks: “chateau”, “juicy sweatsuits”, “do re mi”
Worst tracks: “hell is where i dreamt of u and woke up alone”, “double”

Rating: 5.5/10

BlackbearHip-HopR&B/Soul

cdschart • April 21, 2017


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