The Good, The Average & The Ugly (9/23-9/30)

Every Tuesday, I'll be reviewing what I thought was good, average and bad from the week in music. This week, we'll be taking a look at releases from Twin Cities Alternative group Hippo Campus, a project from Logic, and a single from Juicy J & Travis Scott.


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THE GOOD


Hippo Campus - Bambi



During my brief time here at Burbs, the vast majority of my writing has been dedicated to the Rap and R&B genres. Does this mean these are the only two genres I listen to? Absolutely not. The truth of it is, I haven't found the right time to integrate another style of music into my work.


Until now.


For those of you that are ill-informed on the world of Alternative and Indie music, Hippo Campus is a fairly adolescent alternative group from St. Paul, Minnesota. After a duo of EPs, Hippo Campus released their debut studio album, Landmark, in 2017. Met with generally positive acclaim, things were looking up for the band, who had a memorable sound and loyal fanbase. The question to be asked, however, was where would they go from here?


Nothing could've prepared fans and listeners for Bambi.


Sitting at 10 tracks, Hippo Campus's followup LP is a astronomical revert from their first project on a sonic level. The genre-friendly first album was nothing spectacular, but on Bambi, the band thoroughly embraces elements of House, EDM Rock, Experimental/Industrial sounds and so much more. The closest comparison to this leap in style is the incredible transition from Bon Iver's self titled album to 22, A Million by Justin Vernon.


On Bambi, the vocal layering, sound mixing and instrumentation is millenniums ahead of it's predecessor. One moment the band is visceral and static, the next moment they're distant, emotional and echoey. The vocal experimentation from Jake Luppen and Nathan Stocker are complex beyond description.


On "Golden", the listener feels like they're in a tiny box with the singers and a microphone.


On "Think It Over", the listener is opposite a canyon from Luppen and Stocker, hypnotized by their melodies from across the void.


On "Mistakes", the listener is alone in an empty chapel, entranced by the echoes of each singer in each of his/her ears. These types of switches in vocals from song to song are rare to find, and speak great volumes to the groups evolution


In it's simplest form, Bambi is an accomplishment in a variety of musical sub-groups, as well as an unconventional yet effective coming of age moment for the young band.


Much like Bambi herself, the band is new and curious, and these qualities shine on one of the best alternative/indie/experimental projects of the year to this point.


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THE AVERAGE


Logic - YSIV



Enter the crazy, persistent, controversial rollercoaster that is Logic and his career.


Throughout Logic's time in the industry, the Baltimore MC has managed to defy the critics and internet trolls, continuing to deliver head spinning lyricism on each and every project he's manufactured.


On previous mixtapes and albums, Logic's biggest fault is his inability to veer from the message he seems to preach on every single song; peace, love and positivity. Granted, there is nothing wrong with this, but when it's the only thing being rapped about for 4 years, it gets to be a bit much.


YSIV, the fourth installment in Logics "Young Sinatra" mixtape series, is a breath of fresh air from the monotonous instrumentation on past albums, as each and every song on YSIV has something new and unique to offer from a beat perspective. In essence, this project is a well orchestrated mixture of a mixtape and a studio album, sitting comfortably in the gray area that blends both.


Sadly, this is where the creativity ends.


Does Logic have an incredible flow? Yes, probably one of the best of the game.


Does Logic provide crisp features throughout the album? Certainly, we'll talk about that later.


Does Logic rap about anything besides being an underdog story and being positive and kind? Not really.


Personally, I don't consider myself a negative individual, so that can't be the reason for my distaste towards this. In reality, Logic has beat this dead horse for years, painting himself into an endless loop of the same thing over and over and over... and over. A few tracks here and there about this general topic is great, I think we as listeners need it, but Logic ignores the criticism for all the wrong reasons, staying in one lane for the entire mixtape.


On a positive note, the mixtapes blatantly obvious highlight is "Wu-Tang Forever". Not to be confused with Drake's R&B ballad of the same name, Logic's version is a true to form victory lap from one of the greatest rap collectives in the history of the game. I'm not kidding when I say this, Logic has every single living member of the Wu-Tang Clan (RIP ODB) on this track, and it's a sight to see (or hear).


At the end of the day, YSIV is an enjoyable project, but like the biracial Logic memes from twitter warriors, Logics singular focus from a message perspective is unavoidable.

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THE BAD


Juicy J & Travis Scott - Neighbor



Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck

Fuck this song is boring.


(Actual lyrics from the song. I'm not kidding).


There is very little I'd like to say about this snooze-fest from Juicy J and Travis Scott, so like my attention span during this track, I'm going to keep this short.


The beat is lazy. The lyricism is lazy. The flow is lazy.


THIS SONG IS LAZY.


That's all I have. Seriously. Go give it a listen though, the lyrics up at the top gave me a laugh and will probably make you laugh too.


Ok I'm done.


-Carter Ferryman-


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