NEW REVIEW STYLE, TRIAL RUN - LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK AND IF YOU PREFER THE OLDER STYLE
Future is once again back in action, the king of misogyny dropped his new album titled 'High Off Life' last Friday to some pretty good reviews. Personally though, I've never been a fan of Future's music - so if you're expecting another positive review, prepared to be disappointed.
Firstly, the production overall is a bit meh. The production is very trap based, with the classic elements of hi hats and 808s. In the first half of this album, the instrumentals are very bland and lifeless. On 'HiTek Tek' the beat is very boring and uninteresting but this problem is highlighted mainly on the track 'Touch The Sky' where it takes all the elements of a trap beat, waters them down and throws them on the song. There's no way someone in Future's lane can sound interesting over this kind of beat. The beats do pick up in the second half, highlighted on tracks such as 'Hard To Choose One', 'Too Comfortable' and 'Harlem Shake' which includes hard 808s an a faster paced beat which sounds better with Future's style. The beat switch on 'Ridin Strikers' is absolutely fire, it's just a shame the track is awful before this and the production before the switch sounds lazy and lifeless. As well as that, 'Posted With Demon' has a pretty bland beat, but the upbeat feel gives it more life and showcases where Future has the potential to shine more in my opinion.
As for Future himself, the lyrics on this album are very basic and generic. I'm not expecting a lyrical masterclass from him at this point, but at least try a funny one liner every now and then or it will get stale pretty quickly - as it did. Flow wise, Future's flow also gets stale and boring a lot of the time such as on tracks like 'Outer Space Bih' where despite having a nice hook, the verses get stale very quick due to the flow, and 'Accepting My Flaws' which has a nice sentiment to the track being a song for his girlfriend - but it being just one long verse with a very simple and sluggish flow - it just kind of drags on. 'Life Is Good' is an example of where Future's flow is good like he's really going for it, and his delivery on this track goes hard too because overall - I have to say his voice and melodies aren't great, catchy or interesting, especially when compared to people he's competing with like Young Thug or Travis Scott. On the track 'Touch The Sky', when he harmonises he sounds like a dying cat and if you just compare his melodies to Lil Uzi Vert's on 'All Bad', it really showcases just how boring his melodic style really is.
The features on this project compliment Future really well for the most part, and are decent overall. Some good features on this project include NBA Youngboy on 'Trillionaire', who's melodies were on point and the whole "woah" adlibs really added effect to the track, as well as Lil Uzi Vert on 'All Bad' who I said brought great energy to the track and Lil Durk on 'Last Name' - again, had the highlight with the better melodies. I didn't really enjoy Young Thug on 'Harlem Shake' surprisingly, I felt he didn't do anything special and his stuttery flow was offputting while Travis Scott on 'Solitaires' did a good job, showing how to flex without being tedious and saying it more interesting than Future does - but he couldn't do enough to save this track.
Content wise, the majority of the tracks are about the trap, flexing, cooking drugs and shooting people up - the street life. There are instances where he talks on other things such as on 'Trillionaire' where the two rappers focus on their come up, 'Up The River' where he talks on overcoming his demons to reach success and as already mentioned, the song to his girlfriend 'Accepting My Flaws'. Again, while it's nice to see new subject matter in these tracks - he doesn't really dive deep into them and barely scratches the surface.
To look through the tracklist, the introduction to the album 'Trapped in the Sun' is a poor opener. I just don't see the appeal of it - an average melody, basic flow, nothing interesting being said and it doesn't sound good or catchy - nothing brings you back. The first real point of the album that I can say a song was interesting was 'Ridin Strikers', but again that's due to the beat switch. Before that it isn't interesting and it's lazy, talking on the normal topics of flexing and drugs before we get to a bank robbery interlude. A few tracks later is 'Hard To Choose One' which is the first decent song of the album. The beat is alright and overall it just has a good vibe to it, Future's presence is clear and he carries it well throughout the track. It's the first song I can at least bob my head too. Following that is 'Trillionaire', which I've already commented on but the reason why I think this is the first good song on the album and a top three song is because it tells a story and has emotion behind it - but you can maybe say even NBA Youngboy carried Future on this track. 'Harlem Shake's beat is once again a lot better than previously mentioned, and I enjoy the metaphor of the song being that Future & Thug are going to shoot a guy, and make him look like he's doing the Harlem shake, but once again as said Thug's feature let me down.
'All Bad' seems out of place on this tracklist but with a great, bouncy and light beat and a fine Uzi feature - a good song was needed so despite it being a completely different vibe. Another song in 'Outer Space Bih' is mid, but it's mainly because of the verses. I enjoy the hook and think it's catchy, and the sliding 808s combined with the piano keys sound nice - as I said earlier it's just the flow that lets it down. The album finishes on the 'Life Is Good' remix and it was pointless in my opinion. DaBaby rode the beat with his one dimensional flow but Future's verse was pretty lackluster and removed Drake's part - the best part - as well as adding a generic Lil Baby verse which got stale pretty quick.
To conclude, this album is pretty generic and uninteresting for the most part. It has it's lows, and few highs and tiresome moments here and there but there is also a mix of mid to decent songs I suppose. There are the same issues here as there are with many albums this year - 21 tracks and an hour and ten minutes long is a recipe for disaster - especially when it's almost all filler. I don't really think it's an enjoyable album, and it doesn't do a lot to make you want to return to it.
FAVOURITE TRACKS: Trillionaire, All Bad, Life Is Good
LEAST FAVOURITE TRACK: Touch The Sky
OVERALL RATING: Solid 4/10