Slow Down & Engage the Music

I've been home in Oregon for the past week or so, and due to all the travel and the mess of new albums released last week I couldn't cohesively process everything together enough to write a column about it all. Also, I forgot to try.

But really this week's article only references two pieces of content: Good for You, the debut album by Aminé, and Tyler the Creator's fourth album Flower Boy (which was promoted as Scum Fuck Flower Boy). Flower Boy debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts this week, and Good For You was released on July 28th so it doesn't even have finalized first week sales yet.

This past week I've mainly been listening to these two albums. Almost exclusively, I've been rotating from the more positive, upbeat alternative rap of Aminé to the introspective, well produced classic Tyler flow on Flower Boy. They complement each other nicely, and as I'm writing this, I've found it hard to listen to anything else recently. I've sought refuge in these albums because, to be quite frank, new music has been dropping like crazy this summer and it's incredibly overwhelming.

One of my favorite things about music is how you build a personal connection with it; listening to certain songs and albums takes you back to a specific moment in time, or it remains universally appealing to some aspect of your psyche. Since I've been trying to keep up with all the new albums released, I haven't had as much time to repeatedly listen to the albums I like.

That's a tragedy in two parts: 1) I can't listen to these tracks enough to scream the lyrics (which, let's be honest, is half the fun of music) and 2) I'm not able to feel and experience the album on a deeper level, so it loses part of its value. I've spoken with a few friends about this, and they seem to agree. It's a good problem to have, for sure. But I can't help but feel like I'm running on a treadmill I can't keep up with, and when the dust settles in September I'll look back and realize I missed several high quality albums. Even worse - I realize that some of my reviews of recent albums (whether published or drafted) have been shallow and short sighted - the one of DJ Khaled's "Grateful" specifically. Sure, it still stands as his best album, but if I listened to it more carefully and repeatedly when it first came out I would have dissected it more as the commercial pop-rap hit seeker that it manifested itself as. But when so many new albums are released every week, it's difficult to keep up and embrace each one on the level that they each require. 

So, I might eventually get back around to Vic Mensa, Lana Del Rey, Lorde, and Cage the Elephant (all quality albums out recently), but for now I'll stick with Flower Boy and Good For You.