George Watsky, just Watsky, I don't know. Anyways, I'm not a huge rap guy, but this is a rap god. Check it out.
I've been following Watsky since Cardboard Castles, 2013 ish. I remember him from my high school days on youtube doing slam poetry that spoke deep. His words always have a deep meaning behind them, telling us words that we need to hear. I start this journey with "Stick to your Guns" feat. Julia Nunes. I want to start with a verse from the song,
We come together in this hour of need, to honor the innocent victims of this cowardly deed. Of course I share your sentiment as your voice in the senate, but let's accept nothing ever could have been done to prevent it. It's just the strange inner visions of a deranged individual, full of rage full of hate full of vitriol. But I gotta mention that it's sick and insane, my opponent's twisting your pain for political gain; That's lame and I think it's a damn shame. It doesn't give anyone power to cast blame, because the past is past and it's best that we keep things the same. So my Chads and my Staceys, go back to the mall; Fill you bags up at Macy's, and chat in the hall and I hope I'm the vote that you cast in the fall cause I care for you, it's true.
This track spoke to me, like alot of his tracks do. "Stick to your Guns" speaks about a school shooting. It starts by describing the shooter, moving to the news, and to the verse above. The common thread from all shooting in america are these three sides: The person who is wronged, the news who only care about views and sponsors, and the representatives who do nothing. The hardest part about this track, is how does Watsky truly feel? The voice he uses is neutral or bright, never inflecting to show one side or the other. He leaves it up to you to feel how you want to. This is a taste of how he rights.
On the other side of the coin, "Pink Lemonade." This is a direct calling to the rich, sleazy hidden people we have. Lines like "Collection plate passing through the church benches, Pastors pull up to their chapels in Benz's." or "Rich heir, hot air choking everybody/(skip line)/See the sweat pour from each pore of your poor body" shoot shots across the chest of cheaters and liers. It keeps going as the song continues with lines like "We don't play, fetch or rollover, no way, it's the cold shoulder, for Machiavellian, Martin Skhrelian suit and tie soldiers". It talks more about how shitty these people really are. Deep words, man. Poetry can really mess you up.
But this is an audiophile blog, how's the backing tracks Axel? For "Pink Lemonade" its simple, building, aggressive, and all over the place. One thing I admire about Watsky is the simple way he builds emotions. "Pink Lemonade" starts hard bass, rough trumpet, its almost what you expect in mainstream rap. But as the song builds to the end, its gets more and more relaxed and complicated. As the final verse, talking how "sheep" don't think or do anything of meaning, you are transported to relaxed nu wave synth to calm you down. For "Stick to your Guns", the track is relaxed and soft. Enough said. This is not a song that you listen to the back track, its about the words. Popping bass that's overpowered to imitate gun "pops" but the strings and light synth keyboard are the last thing on your mind in this track. Its the song where I try to describe the accompaniment and go "shit, did he just say that?"
Now, I always single out three tracks. The third I feel needs its own paragraph because it's my favorite from this album. While "Stick to your Guns" is the hardest hitting song lyrically, "Don't Be Nice" is the hardest all around. From the speed of the words, the backing track, everything is matched perfectly. This is a track about how quality people and false people are crappy. He lays himself out as a person who doesn't know who he is, quality I mean, but is simply a small man with big ambitions who likes to surround himself with quality people. I use the term "quality people" from the line "Quality people lift be up like the coliseum pillars". I just think its a good way to describe good people. I feel that this track was the "baby" of the album. The tone of the backing track to the lyrics just pair so well.
If you take anything from this review, its that I suck at translating music to words. I can describe at an average level and I love the poetry that Watsky turns into music. This is my favorite ALBUM that Watsky has released, my favorite release is "Nothing like the first time" which is hard to find these days.