I've had negative connotations attached to this artist, Its lingered in the back of my mind from a few years back, his Hellboy mixtape, which I did not enjoy to say the least. Having forgotten about it I went into this record with little expectations and yet found a brilliance I have to nod the head and give props too. The young Lil Peep is now deceased having died of a drug overdose before a show on his tour bus. Drug abuse is a key theme of his music and from what Ive heard he advocated against their use but there is no doubt the music glorifies them as it does his over struggles which is the musics focal point. Its timing seems like a reflection to Americas prescription drug epidemic.
With each spin of this record its components become quite clear, Trap percussion lines shuffle and rattle out grooves with distinct tonal qualities. Clunky clicks and claps pop between shimmering hi-hats bursts and sub kicks that have a synthetic quality. Behind them gorgeous, sad and melancholy guitar licks pluck simple, steadily paced single note melodies alongside additional guitars, thick, atmospheric synths and a deep, filling baseline laying down foundational blocks. The chemistry is fantastic, dark broody instrumentals with a gleam of light emanating that will never escape its grasp.
Its Lil Peep himself who is that light, a clearly troubled soul who's bearing it all upfront as his outlet with the music. His voice is fantastic, a deep and rustic tone, he finds a soft spot to speak/sing words through a whirl of cloudy reverb. His pace and delivery comes from an easy energy. It doesn't manifest specifically into hooks as much of his simple language and lack of range but it makes for plenty of sing-along-able stints in the tracks, even his faster paced "raps" are easy to pick up on and learn.
The lyrics were originally the least likeable aspect but repetition has revealed much authenticity in his themes. Initially they felt teenage, angsty and glorified but Lil Peep was only twenty one and I think a younger me would really of lapped this up. "Sometimes life gets fucked up, that's why we get fucked up", far from poetic and insightful but through its cursory language and surface level wording a clear picture of his struggles emerge. Emotional pains, relationship woes and drug abuse dominate the tone, as he wallows in the struggle with little positive to grasp onto. "I wish I didn't have a heart to love you", powerful words but deeply saddening too.
Instrumentally, this record has a very concise and expressive sound. Its a brilliant stage for a troubled young man to let his emotions roll out and despite its depressing nature the glorification takes hold and elevates these into anthems in the best songs. I'm truly impressed, at first I thought I would enjoy it from a distance but Ive found myself sucked in to his world and reminded of what youth can be like. His death is a real shame however the tone of the music makes it sound almost inevitable. Next up I will get part two which was released posthumously last year.
Favorite Tracks: Awful Things, U Said, The Brightside