With BROCKHAMPTON emerging with a decent mixtape ALL-AMERICAN TRASH just 7 months prior, their def facto leader Kevin Abstract is now delivering a follow-up to his 2014 debut MTV1987.
The album opens with “Empty”, which begins with some godly strings. He then proceeds to rap in a depressing tone about hating his last name as well as loving his mother & hating his boyfriend over a plinky piano. The strings I mentioned earlier eventually come back as Kevin beautifully sings the hook about needing his boyfriend right by him. The next song “17” is a mellow guitar-ballad about his ex-boyfriend changing him for the better while the track “Blink” recalls sleeping in from a day at high school because his sister took the car as well as talking about what he needs & what he’s sick of over some depressing keyboards & a wailing guitar. After the “Friendship” interlude, we go into the song “Tattoo”. Here, Kevin sings about throwing his life away as well as his home being fake & wanting to make out with his boyfriend at the bleachers over a an acoustic instrumental.
The track “Yellow” is a more upbeat guitar ballad where he sings in falsetto about making a sacrifice & while the song “Suburbian Born” is only a minute long, he raps about getting closer to this guy over a more dreamy instrumental & the effects on his voice were a nice touch. After singing about how it’s ok over a synth pop instrumental on the 30 second “Kin”, we go into the song “Runner”. It has an amazing instrumental that gets more layered as it progresses & the Roy Blair hook is infectious, but I wish Kevin added another verse. Preferably a longer one. After the “Flintridge” interlude, we go into the track “Papercut”. Here, Kevin passionately raps about his sexuality over a wavy guitar & some beautiful background vocals. ”
June 29th” is a 48 second guitar ballad about flying away while the track “Miserable America” insightfully sings about the struggles of being a gay African American over an art pop beat. The title track is about cutting of a simple girl & his parents because of his sexuality over a laidback indie rock instrumental while the penultimate track “Echo” talks about life crashing down on him & running away from home at 17. Also, I absolutely love how the tension rises & falls consistently throughout. The album then finishes with “I Do (End Credits)”, which is pretty much a “fuck you” to everyone who’s rejected him (even his mother) over an instrumental that sounds inspired by Tyler, The Creator’s classic 2013 sophomore album Wolf. I also like how he pitched his voice throughout.
As much as I enjoy Kevin Abstract’s last album, this is his best one yet. Aside from the interludes, the production is beautiful & we get to see Kevin at his most vulnerable.