Updated: Dec 31, 2020
Alternative indie pop artist Dominic Fike has dropped his debut album 'What Could Possibly Go Wrong', after a pretty good EP a couple years back titled 'Don't Forget About Me, Demos'. If you're wondering why this has a full length review and not just score on my 'Other Reviews' section for past hip-hop albums or albums of other genres - it's because Dominic raps sometimes and has ingrained himself within the culture somewhat. So, would this Dominic Fike debut studio album reach the heights it's predicted to reach?
The production on this album overall was pretty safe, not really exciting and occasionally bland - despite a few good beats every now and then. A few of the tracks on here have a heavy rock inspiration, such as the opener 'Come Here'. The beat of this however is chaotic - but not in a good way, it just sounds horrible. The whole song is about telling this girl he gets lonely at night and overall it just seems very corny, forced alternative and overly 'edgy'. The vocals aren't good at all on here either. Most of the tracks have the classic indie pop elements of acoustic guitars, catchy drum patterns and soft undertones, such as on 'Wurli' as he talks on a toxic relationship over these catchy claps and great guitar bass. There's some vivid metaphors on here, "I'm steppin' out with shackles on my ankles", and overall it's a short but sweet track. Dominic does better over this classic formula of indie pop sound - he just needs to stick to the basics a bit more sometimes. '10x Stronger' has these classic indie pop guitar riffs, a piano and amazing violins which create a vibey atmosphere. It sounded great - I just don't know why the track was here because it just was wailing and instrumental. It wasn't overly memorable but sounded nice - crazy how it's still a highlight on here.
Dominic Fike's lyrics are weird because they're quite basic but come together to make it hard to crack really what he's trying to say. Sometimes he's poetic or metaphorical, but most of the time he just sounds like an everyday person, very relatable and just so normal, such as on 'What's For Dinner?', as he talks on the breakdown of a relationship as he tries to fix things over these sci-fi esque elements. He makes the track feel like a casual conversation, "I just got back from the gastroenterologist // He told me that I can't drink, so now I be high and shit // And all insensitive // And then when you cry, I get fuckin' anxiety", but despite this again the track while not bad, is just overall average. Occasionally he spits on this album, his flow is pretty safe when he does and the main attraction of his music is his soft delivery and catchy melodies which weren't always interesting on this album at all. His voice was good most the time, but at other times the effects on his voice just don't sound good. The hook to 'Chicken Tenders' is an example of him sounding very human and just living like everyday life, "Chicken tenders in my hotel, yeah // Christina's in my bed watchin' TV shows". The whole song has this nice drum pattern, catchy guitar strings and nice synth keys as he talks about making love to his girl and wanting to live in luxury with her forever. It's the first real 'good' song on the project with a catchy hook, good feeling to it and it's just so nice and easy to get into. The finale 'Florida' has some decent lines, such as "I done took a L on every corner like a swastika", as he reflects on his come up and new found success - but this is another low point on the album. The effect on his vocals for the first part of the first verse sounded awful - and he tried to make it vibey but it just ended up boring. Nothing about the beat or the vocal performance were special on this song.
The subject matter on this album is quite coded but most of it revolves around a lover of his - and while it's hard to make out what position he is in with her - it seems he wants this girl but their relationship is falling apart. On 'Politics & Violence', Dom reflects on a past relationship over this amazing beat which creates a heavenly atmosphere with it's mix of instruments. This is the only really great track on the album - the whole mood of the track is enticing and it's just really smooth sounding. His relationship with fame is touched on here again, "You won't find Heaven, not in these hills // Boy, you shouldn't be here // All you need to fall in love", suggesting money don't make you happy and you need real love. 'Joe Blazey' reminisces on a past relationship again over this pretty tacky, rock influenced beat. His verse on this is a drag while the baby voice on the hook just sounds pure bad, we then get a beat switch but it again becomes forced alternative and edgy music and overall it's another low point on here. Dominic's relationship with fame is a common theme on here too, such as on 'Cancel Me' where he details hating fame so much he wants to be cancelled so he can return to a normal life. I like the idea of the song, and it sounds a lot like something you'd hear on his previous EP with a pretty catchy hook - but nothing stands out too much. It wasn't executed well all the time, such as the lines "They need you, I hope I get me too" coming off a bit insensitive - but overall it's alright.
To look at some other tracks, 'Double Negative (Skeleton Milkshake)' uses poetic and metaphorical ways to talk on, well, I don't really know it's hard to tell because sometimes it sounds like two people growing apart, other times it sounds like casual sex and other times it sounds like he's talking about an ex/ It's another rock inspired beat with a pretty catchy hook, but nothing else is really interesting but it's not the worst thing on here (not even close). 'Good Game' is about being questioned by old faces with questions such as are you happy and what's it like being famous. The indie guitar beat doesn't do a whole lot to enhance the experience, and half the time the vocals are inaudible. It's boring, with nothing really being attention grabbing or catchy. On 'Why' the beat doesn't sound different to the others but it's alright overall as he's questioning a girl on why she lets people walk all over her. It's a very average song - nothing stands out once again but it doesn't sound bad - just painfully average. 'Vampire' has a more upbeat and summery feel as he gets real poetic using vampires as a metaphor for blood suckers - possibly referencing fake friends due to fame. There's more of a punch to this track - it's catchy, lively and the type of music you like to hear from him. Finally, to talk about 'Superstar Sh*t', which has this pretty cool, slower beat as he talks on being alone post breakup for the first time in a while. It's pretty relatable and soft, but the baby voice is annoying yet again - but other than that it's not a bad song, I just can't say I love it.
To conclude, while not entirely awful this Dominic Fike album was disappointing. It wasn't like his EP which was punchy, catchy and entertaining, it was just for half of it tedious and at times you question the artistic choices he's making. It has a handful of highlights but as I said just disappointing for an artist with a load of potential. It has about as many low points as there is good songs and average tracks - averaging out to a mid score of 5/10 (but I can say it barely hits a middle score).
FAVOURITE TRACKS: 10x Stronger, Why, Chicken Tenders, Vampire, Superstar Sh*t, Politics & Violence
LEAST FAVOURITE TRACK: Joe Blazey
OVERALL RATING: Light 5.5/10
*REVISED SCORE: Review may not match favourite tracks and overall rating because I've since re-listened and changed my score.*