March has brought us some pretty cool tunes, but it was also merciless with the mediocre ones. We discuss Kendrick Lamar’s surprise compilation album, ZAYN’s highly anticipated Mind Of Mine and up and coming artist Låpsley. Warning: mixed feelings.
So let’s talk King Kendrick. Dropping a completely unexpected album fittingly titled Untitled Unmastered, Lamar has made us a favour by making public previously unreleased demos. Of course, we could not expect something of the same magnitude of To Pimp A Butterfly, but for all Kendrick-crazed fans like myself, this is a gem. Some are better than others, some are clearly unpolished or even dull, but they all feel like the end of the TPOB era. My personal favourite is untitled 02 06.23.2014 (indeed, that’s the title) and one month later, I still listen to it everyday. The piano is absolutely gorgeous, the entire instrumental is incredibly neat for that matter, but the hooks and voice modulations in this Compton-nostalgic tune and man, the genius lyrics, make for another masterpiece from our K Dot. The “Get God on the phone/Said it won’t be long” verse is just a.m.a.z.i.n.g. If you go to Rap Genius to decipher the meanings behind his songs, I promise you will be blown away. Also, the “pimp-pimp hooray” at the beginning of some songs (just like “I remember you was conflicted misusing your influence s” was for TPOB) is hauntingly mesmerizing.
Mind Of Mine started off quite promising and didn’t we all want to like this album really badly? Hit PILLOWTALK is indeed annoyingly good, just like only a handful from the record is. Which, unfortunately, is not enough. Although ZAYN visibly attempted to show maturity in this solo work, he only managed to make Mind Of Mine into a rebellious teen act. The album is nothing but an ode to drunken sex and dark fantasies, backed up by the regular explicit words; it’s like he waited his entire life to be able to cuss oh so passionately in his music. And you know what, this rebellion is probably a necessary step in order for his artistic self to bloom and fully mature. sHe is potentially the most technically complete song, but dRuNK and TiO are reeaal good as well and they will get stuck in your head. Personal fave? BeFoUr.
As for 19-year-old British newcomer Låpsley, well, me likey. Cliff is undoubtedly the best song off of Long Way Home and her perfected and matured voice combined with the amazing electronica are what make me come back. The album does tend to drift away at times, but the journey Låpsley is taking you on is totally worth the wandering. Hurt Me is an equally well-composed song and you will see what I mean when I say mature voice. Anyway, lots of potential.