This album was released on January 28th this year. S. Reidy is an artist I’ve covered a couple times on this blog before. I’ve enjoyed pretty much everything I’ve heard from him, so I’m expecting this to hopefully be his best work to date. I’ve enjoyed all of the singles I’ve heard from it, so that’s a good sign. The features are pretty exciting too. I don’t have the production credits for this album, but if I ever find out who’s responsible for the instrumentals I’ll update this review. I guess this album is a spiritual successor to his 2019 project, A Mixtape. I’m actually expecting this to be one of the better albums of the month to be honest. I think I’m gonna really enjoy this.
The album begins with a single entitled Abstract Gravity, which I covered a couple years ago in one of my Best Singles of the Week posts.
I became familiar with S. Reidy late last year when he released a song called A Rap Song. A lot of my acquaintances online seemed to already be into him, and I quickly figured out why. On top of being a skilled musician, he’s also just an incredibly nice and likable person. Anyway, I really love the acoustic guitar driven production on this track, and the light vocals that appear on the intro sound really nice. The first verse is really dope too; his flow is very smooth, and the kind of spiritual content is pretty interesting as well.
Been broke down by philosophy
Lost strength, got used to the cost of me
Held tight with my hands firm in the ground
Found God in the abstract gravity
The only gripe I really have is that the engineering sounds kinda rough. It sounds very DIY. The mixing of his vocals makes it pretty clear that this wasn’t recorded in some expensive studio, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I got used to it after the first few seconds, but it’s kinda jarring to go from a more expensive sounding track to this. I’m pretty sure this is what people refer to as “bedroom rap.” That’s cool. Anyway, the song is really dope. The first time I heard his music he reminded me of Sage Francis, but this reminds me more of the EXOCIETY crew. Check it out and lemme know what you think.
I should note that I don’t really mind the mixing on his vocals anymore. They sound fine to me now. The song is dope. Track 2 is entitled Pipeline, and it’s one of the most exciting tracks because it features Open Mike Eagle, who’s one of my favorite rappers.
I really love the mellow, calming, guitar-driven production from Vhsceral, and the first verse from S. Reidy is dope as hell.
Silly rabbit, cliques are for the pigs
The grossly misinformed enthusiastically content
The servants of a profit make mortality a savior
Foolish hot-takers seeking echoes in the chamber
And I'm proud to be a rapper that can wear it on his face
Act up in a way that makes the passive feel unsafe
The art inside a thought that manifests into a demon
Just to make 'em see it's only seething for a season
I appreciated that Pokémon reference, and I even like the sung hook on this track. The second verse from OME is pretty great too, but I honestly think I prefer that of S. Reidy. It’s just that the way he worded things seemed a bit more eloquent. They both did a really great job though. I think it’s a dope song. Track 3 is called Charlottes Palace. I love the piano-driven production, and S. Reidy sounds great over it. As always, his poetic lyricism had me hooked.
My abusive inner monologue can turn you heart to stone And inspiration is a mistress, but it never feels like home And how you deal with repercussion is the business of your own And all I'm doing is affirming truth that you already know
Both of the verses on this track are great, and I like the sung hook a lot. I especially like how melodic the first few bars of the second verse are. That was a nice change of pace. Overall, the song is really dope. Track 4 is entitled Open: Honesty (Pt. 1). I really like the melodic, acoustic guitar-driven production here, and the first verse is great.
Burnin' bridges, comin' down to the surface Kamikaze brainwaves just to find a purpose And I'm searching for a hive mind to turn into a vice I'm addicted to the feeling, finding meaning where the lies lie Taking steps among the present purgatory Move around the fiends by any means, I'm sure you've heard the story A hundred times and many more just like it's clockwork Lucid fantasies consume my dreams, and when our brains burst We come to to see the perks of an alliance A purpose through our iris turns our minds against defiance
I love the sung hook on this track too. That’s honestly one of my favorite hooks on the album. The second verse is also really great. This is definitely a highlight for me. I think the writing is fantastic, and I love the soft, comforting sonics of this track. It’s dope as hell. It’s followed by Souls to Statistics (Unfinished). This is another major highlight for me. It has one of my favorite beats, if not my number one favorite beat on the album. I love the percussion here, and the upbeat acoustic guitar loop sounds great. The sung hook is pretty nice too. I was confused about this song being titled “Unfinished” because I thought that literally meant the song was incomplete, but that’s not the case at all.
I'm afraid of leaving life unfinished
Go to sleep, never wake, turning souls into statistics
Afraid of friendships never coming back to life
Watching time tear us away, and we're never asking why
Afraid of moving on, off to bigger better things
When I'm happy where I am even though it's just a phase
Afraid of gaining trust just to lose it all again
Related to the circles painted all across my face
Again, this is easily one of my favorite songs on the album. In fact, I’d go as far as saying it’s one of my favorite songs of the year. It’s dope af to me. The following track is entitled Quantum Physic Syncopation, and it features A-F-R-O. I was curious to see how this collaboration would come out because it seems like kind of an odd pairing, but it thankfully ended up being pretty dope. I really like the relatively traditional-sounding production on this track, and both of the verses are really great. I’m actually not sure whose performance I prefer to be honest. They both killed this track. I think the hook is pretty good too. Overall, this is a very dope track. I fuck with it. The following song is a single entitled Flowers, which I wrote about in another one of my Best Singles of the Week posts a couple years ago.
S. Reidy released a really dope EP earlier this year called Sketchbook, so I was pretty happy to see this new track, and it thankfully exceeded my expectations. I really love the muffled, lo-fi aesthetic of the song and music video, and Shawn’s writing here is great.
Bite your tongue every chance that you find
Dance around the sky to make the scene so divine
A castle is a friend when you clarify the ends
The port is overarching when the frugal take the stand
I really love his soft vocals on the hook too. The melody along with the serene production just gives the song a super placid atmosphere. The second verse is even better than the opening one too. Overall, I think the song is awesome. I guess if you’re not into this type of emotional, flowery Hip Hop you might not like it that much, but I don’t really have any issues with it personally. I think it’s dope as hell.
Track 8 is entitled Perilous Separation. I really like the kind of somber, mellow production here. This song also has some of the most relatable content on the album as well. The lyricism here really resonated with me on a personal level just because of the shit I’ve been through in the past couple years.
Separation is a tricky task
Puttin' weight up on your back
That you can't handle just to make it last
Convinced that patience is a virtue and they hurt you
And semantics try to scramble everything you've come to know as facts
This is another contender for my favorite track on the album honestly. I’m lovin’ it like McDonalds.
Of course their actions never play into your thesis
With your kindness took for weakness, it's a blessing to the leeches
That they are for many years while you just hope that it's a phase
The sight inside their eyes is shown the light if you're too strong to wait
And often times they walk the line to keep you comin' back
The stress inside your head makes it a task to keep your heart intact
The song is dope af. Track 9 is entitled A Rap Song, and I guess it’s the closest thing to a title track on this album. This is actually the first song I ever heard from S. Reidy. I remember my first listen of this song pretty well. It reminded me a lot of Sage Francis at the time, and I see why relistening to it now. I mean, they don’t really rap the same way, but the overall aesthetic kinda reminds me of something that could’ve made it onto Francis’ Li(f)e album. It’s not one of my favorite songs on the album, but I definitely enjoyed it to an extent. I really dig the kind of dark acoustic guitar-driven production, and I appreciate that his vocal delivery is completely different on this track. It’s a pretty good song. Track 10 is entitled Open: Honesty (Pt. 2). It’s pretty much the only song on the album that I don’t like that much. It’s not bad at all though. I mean, I definitely like it. It’s just the only song that I don’t see myself returning to in the future. It’s the one song on which Shawn just sings instead of rapping. His vocals are sufficient, and the melody is fine. It’s just that nothing about this song stands out enough to make me want to return to it. I like the simplistic instrumental though. Like I said, I like the song to an extent. It’s certainly listenable. It just lacks replay value for me. The penultimate track is a single entitled Sicko Mode.
This is another one of the better songs on the album to me. I love the soothing guitar-driven production from Team Astro, and Shawn’s writing here is as great as ever.
I think that I could write a masterclass on how to never be successful
I vent what I regret, but I detest being a handful
It's a crowded sea of fish, and I get caught inside the weeds
Protesting my existence while I gather all its needs
I really like the soft vocals on the hook too. There’s really nothing about this song that I don’t like. Again, I think it’s one of the best songs on the album. It’s dope as hell to me. The closing track is a single entitled The Midnight Gospel Literally Saved My Life.
I wrote about it last year for one of my Best Singles of the Week posts, and it also appeared on Shawn’s I Started Grieving Today EP.
This track reminds me a lot of something Yoni Wolf might’ve made with his Reaching Quiet group back in the day. S. Reidy has always kinda reminded me of Sage Francis too, so that’s pretty high praise if you’re familiar with them. I really like beatsbypond’s kinda mellow production here, and the sentimental verse is great. I actually really love the sung hook here too. It sounds a lot better than I would’ve expected. That’s the part that mainly reminded me of Reaching Quiet. So yeah, overall I think the song is dope as hell. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.
This album is great. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the best albums that I’ve heard so far this year. S. Reidy’s poetic lyricism pretty much had me hooked throughout the entire project, and I really love the soft vocals he provides to most of the hooks here. He’s not gonna blow anyone away with super flashy flows or eccentric vocal deliveries; the main appeal is just the relatable, poetic lyricism along with the soft production. If you like artists like Rav, Sage Francis, Myles Bullen, Yoni Wolf, etc. then you’ll most likely dig this project. I don’t have any consistent gripes with it. It’s really dope. Check it out.