Album Review: The ClickWonkeyDude98 Mini-Description: In my thirty-third album review, I talk about an album that's weak -- and there's everything wrong with that.
Worst Songs: "Sober Up" ft. Rivers Cuomo
WORST SONGS: "Overture", "The Good Part", "Weak", "Drama", "Turning Out", "No Grass Today", " Three-Thirty ", "Call My Dad", "I'm Not Famous", "Netflix Trip", "Bud Like You", "Come Hang Out"
NOTE: I wasn't planning on making this review so early - hell, I wasn't planning on making it at all. But you know what? Apparently it's a crime for a big-name music critic to make a statement about an album and then one of his fans decides to listen to the album and agrees, but Anthony Fantano worshippers aren't shunned as much as they are harmless memes on here. So I'm going to drop a review either at the same time or a little earlier than Spectrum Pulse (as I write this) to show the degenerates mocking me across many social media platforms (especially considering they KNOW how self-aware I am and they KNOW my age). that I'm not just blindly taking Speccy's word for everything. I might have to go down a list to convince them of that...thank you for reading, and enjoy the review.
So...twenty one pilots are a trend now.
And it sucks. Like, a lot.
I'm pretty sure ALL of you know by now that Blurryface was one of my absolute favorite albums of 2015. It was a colorful, vibrant, electric, energetic listen that actually had some inner emotional insight buried beneath layers of pretentious satire. But the thing about that album was despite how great it was, it's a difficult album to try and execute correctly.
Which is pretty telling, because after the release of Blurryface, almost every artist inspired within the wake of it SUCKED. The only one that hasn't is Jon Bellion, who despite having first-world millenial commentary/religious ambiguity that was super polarizing and had major issues, it was at least sincere enough with enough of some of the greatest songs ever recorded that I could at least like his debut album The Human Condition to an extent.
Shame that can't be said about anything else that's tried to bite off the indie electropop sound. OneRepublic ("Better"), Linkin Park, MISSIO, even Imagine Dragons -- who you could tell were the ones that INSPIRED PARTS OF Blurryface IN THE FIRST PLACE -- tried copying the sort of "awkward woke pop", as I like to call it, with atrocious results.
But from the very, very moment I heard "Weak", I knew we easily had one of the worst cases yet in AJR. That insufferable car-commercial jingle EASILY has a shot at being one of the worst songs I've heard in 2017. Period.
Or at least it did until I caught word of this album by a certain god of music reviewing, and I decided to check it out out of morbid curiosity. Could it really be that bad?
Yes, yes it can because this blows. "Weak" might be the best thing here. I haven't heard an album this bad since Future's A and until that point I had only ever heard TWO ALBUMS WORSE THAN THAT. But even with that in mind, I don't think I've ever heard an album where the mere thought of it not only started making me mentally angry, but also physically grit my teeth and scrunch my fists with rage.
This album not only takes qualities from the absolute "edgiest" artists of the millennium, it takes the absolute worst qualities from the absolute "edgiest" artists of the millennium. Maroon 5's screechiness, Fall Out Boy's antagonistic cattiness, Imagine Dragons' over-tastefulness, twenty one pilots' pretentiousness, Simple Plan's juvenility, Jon Bellion's firsthand stupidity, Linkin Park's angst, and MISSIO's absolutely godawful production.
Except that it takes none of the good parts of ANY of these bands, like Maroon 5's grooves, Fall Out Boy's manic power, Imagine Dragons' big arena hooks, twenty one pilots' internal insight, Simple Plan's """"""""relatability"""""""", Jon Bellion's humor or great production, Linkin Park's volume, or MISSIO's....well, the jury's still out on whether that band has anything redeeming about them.
I don't think I need to say this by now, but this album sounds like absolute garbage. It's trying to be eclectic and reaching for pop, hip-hop, soul, trap, rock, and even some brostep. And NOTHING WORKS. When the stock beats and Casio tones don't sound like weak noise, they're so cold and mechanical that it sucks the energy, spark, even the groove out of a lot of these compositions.
Where that's most apparent is the first song "Overture" (subtle title guys), which takes chunks out of the whole album and tries to lump them together in ways that are completely disjointed and jarring. Even with the fact that it's a three-and-a-half messy compilation of the album, the whole thing is pitched up, the saxes they add in are incredibly cheap sounding, and halfway through the song morphs into this horrible bass-heavy dubstep song.
Although to be fair, it's not like that song had much to work with. The strings on "The Good Part", "Sober Up", and "Turning Out" that don't even try to pretend they're not preset, the awful warbling synths and abysmal key change on "Weak", "Sober Up" which has a big buildup on the chorus with anti-payoff and Rivers Cuomo is as dorky as I've ever heard him, the choppy vocal clipping, drab pianos, and flabby hi-hat-driven chorus on "Drama", the alternatively yawn-inducing and infuriating piano ballad "Turning Out", the watery drum machines, flat piano, and sickening sine-bass on "No Grass Today", all the random pounding synths, fluty pure leads, and disgusting percussion on the atrocious " Three-Thirty ", the godawful autotuned-to-hell "acapella" that is "Call My Dad", the bland doo-wop horns, sleigh bells, and sparkly pianos on "I'm Not Famous", the sloshing sounds plastered all over "Netflix Trip", the campfire acoustic chorus of "Bud Like You" that's actually pretty tolerable until they drown it in farty horns, overmixed cymbals, squeaky chiptune, what sounds like an underused viola at the back of the mix, and trap snares, the random electric guitar flourishes and tribal percussion on "Come Hang Out", and all the weird horrible scrambled vocals that seem to be all over this album that try to make this album feel bright and happy but it has no guys, no color...no soul. There's really not much in the way of a single instrumental on this album that I fully like, or even tolerate at all.
But you know what about the album makes it start to REALLY suck? Our performers, Jack and Ryan Met. Lordy mother of god and lamb alike, these two just straight up cannot sing. At all. The bearded sadistic tool who wears a stupid fur hat all the time is the one you'll hear more often on this album, Jack Met, and he's easily the worse of the two. His voice is like a cross between Jon Bellion and Andrew McMahon, vocalists I respectively am ambivalent on and despise. But what he really gets from both of them is this broad overenunicated whining that doesn't even have much character on its own. Combined with all the terrible vocal effects are usually placed on him, it's always actively grating to listen to his voice, especially in his awful falsetto on "Come Hang Out". Ryan Met is better sorta, but his voice has even less personality, to the point I didn't even notice there was a second singer on songs like "Sober Up" or even a different verse singer on "Netflix Trip" until my second listen.
And Jack's screaming, lord almighty...it's not even a gritty kind of scream, it's just a balls-ripped-off piercing yelp. It's all over this album and it's absolutely awful, with it being at its worst at points like the key change on "Weak".
But no. It's not the industrial, soulless production or some of the worst vocals EVER that bring this album down to rock bottom for me -- no, that's the lyrics. Now, despite how much I love Blurryface, I've called that album pretentious many times; because it is. It's fake deep, self-serving, and sarcastic as hell. However, it wasn't supposed to be a deep commentary on the evils of this world, it was all about the mask that Tyler Joseph both hid behind and terrified him.
The Click is all the pseudo-intellectuality, with none of the emotion or struggle. The closest we get to that are on "Call My Dad" (aka WAAHHH I WANNA GO HOME AND TALK TO MY DADDY) and "Netflix Trip", which is literally "7 Years" by Lukas Graham if it were The Office. But besides that, and even including them somewhat, this album is all incoherent naivety that can't even bother to be the least bit charming.
"The Good Part" is exactly what you think it is: it's Jack complaining about how long and hard life is and asking to skip to the "good part". A part of me wanted to be smart and skip to the good part by just ending the album there, but sadly I didn't. "Weak" is all about how Jack doesn't like how much limitations are placed on him and how he's an easily tempted idiot, but what's wrong with that? Ugh. "Sober Up"'s probably the best written song on the album in that it's basically just a song where Jack and Rivers talk about a friend who's helping them get stuff back together (although the bridge mostly done by Cuomo just makes me cringe so hard that it ruins the whole song), but then we get "Drama". This is where the writing really starts to get dreadful, because this is the sort of pop culture-referencing high-and-mighty nonsense that reminds me of "Noise" by Kenny Chesney, but at least Kenny Chesney actually IS old.
Around the bend comes "Turning Out" which tries to be sensitive and insecure by saying that Jack still doesn't know how he's gonna end up, but not only does it read like the angstiest 14-year-old's diary ever, the main chorus line is "you say I turned out fine, I think I'm still turning out". That's the big thing I have against this album: throughout my listen I kept finding myself saying "who would ever say this out loud and why was this recorded?" Even ignoring the godawful themes, it's just a generally cringeworthy listen and I don't usually say that.
But oh dear god, next is "No Grass Today", which has a chorus that could basically amount to "hey mom! I didn't smoke weed at the show today", and it's just so kiddie and Disney-like that it makes me want to vomit. Skipping a good chunk of the album we have a similar disaster in "Bud Like You", which is either a song about how a friend keeps him from getting high like everybody else, or is a tribute to weed. I don't know, but it's so STUPID either way that I don't really care.
And yet this album hasn't reached its absolute worst, which you can easily find by just listening to " Three-Thirty ". This is a song about how it sucks to be a musician, having to fit so many thoughts into just three and a half minutes. This is also a song where he talks about having ADHD and then realizing he doesn't because "it's a real thing", how he can't rap because no one would believe him and how rappers "have it easy" (okay just go to hell), and worst of all, ENDS WITH THE LINE "If Ed Sheeran wrote my song I'd finally top the charts (x2)". The whole song just screams of an unnecessary angst and whininess that makes me want to kick all three of these brothers in the plums.
It actually kinda makes "I'm Not Famous" look good in comparison, a song where Jack talks about how he's living the good life because he isn't famous. No haters, no paparazzi, no judgers -- except according to my knowledge this was a followup single to "Weak", which is starting to do pretty well. So this just makes the dude look really stupid. Also, yes, you do have haters because you sound like you have a pipe wrench tightened on your nuts and you sing about nothing.
I WISHED we at least got SOME kind of powerful ending like "Hand of God (Outro)"...because instead we get "Come Hang Out" which is as juvenile a...hookup song (?) as it gets. Of course I can't make out a good quarter of what Jack is saying because of that horrendous falsetto.
And really, that's the worst thing about this album. It's conveying the emotions of a high 6th grader with the emotional depth of a 2nd grader. God, am I listening to Lukas Graham or what? What makes it worse is that the Met brothers seem to genuinely think they're making a deep and powerful album, when really I've heard children's movies with more complexity, and really, likability than this nightmare.
Man, this album pisses me off. I finally understand why people hate Twenty One Pilots, but really this is so much worse even there. This album is tame, astonishingly white, and innocent-sounding, but it's the sort of attitude that drives me off. It's trying to be insecure and emotional, but it's just the most insufferable, shrill, overproduced twee bull I've ever heard. -3/10, you have no idea how hard it was to start cursing harder. I could have if I wanted, but this album doesn't even deserve a full-on thrashing. If anything releases until 2019 that's worse than this, I'll be shocked.
So yeah...this was dreadful. I wasn't planning on releasing this, but you know some people just need to shut up. Hopefully I'll be able to relisten to all the albums I need to for the best albums of 2016 list before December: if I don't, that'll suck. Either way this is WonkeyDude98, signing out.
NOTICE: The big NOTE at the beginning is somewhat outdated, ignore it.
But yeah this was supposed to be out WAY earlier but the review was too long so Spectrum Pulse's far superior review is out now, so whatever enjoy the review. :P - WonkeyDude98
Oh, and by the logic of the end of Speccy's review, I'm technically inflicting this album on ALL of my followers.
Time to rush off to masturbate. - WonkeyDude98
Watch your mouth, Wonkey, or more specifically where you put your hands... - Swellow
I knew this album and this band long before.
I kinda liked I'm Ready as a so bad it's good sorta thing but it wore off on me. - ProPanda
Lol I'm ded - WonkeyDude98
Damn. - ProPanda
"This album not only takes qualities from the absolute "edgiest" artists of the millennium, it takes the absolute worst qualities from the absolute "edgiest" artists of the millennium."
Edgy. - PhenomentalOne
Glad you noticed bud - WonkeyDude98
Good review, I'm not a big 21 pilots fan but I like Stressed Out, Heathens, and Ride. Somebody said that they just lip sync at concerts though which kind of lowered my interest and respect for them. - Skullkid755
No they don't lip sync, but Tyler Joseph SUCKS live.
Either way, judging them by their live performances is pretty stupid. - WonkeyDude98
I used to love Blurryface but after listening to it again after a year or so it's really shrunk on me hard. I still think it's good but there are just too many corny lyrics and production choices that I for some reason decided to ignore. - ryansliao
@Skullkid755 Listen to "Fairly Local" also because that song is godly. - DCfnaf
Okay. by the way gonna add the album to my Spotify library - Skullkid755
I hate ajr - VideoGamefan5
I hate hair - AlphaQ
"No guys, no color...no soul"
Why I'm dying
"No guts, no color...no soul" - WonkeyDude98
Wonkthony Dudetano - Ub8
Actually you know what Wonkthony Dudetano sounds better. - WonkeyDude98
I swear to god I'm the only person where Blurryface just keeps getting better, but it keeps getting worse for everyone else.
WHY - WonkeyDude98
For me it's constant but I liek it - AlphaQ
ZEDD - AlphaQ
AJthony Rtano - NiktheWiz
Plzthony Stoptano - WonkeyDude98
Deezthony Nutztano - AlphaQ
How hard was it to arrange all the WORST SONGS? - PhenomentalOne
Not really, it's just the rest of the tracklist. - WonkeyDude98
Is it worse than Disonest and Angelic 2 the Lol Mr Wonka Dimez 999? - AlphaQ
Yes. Easily. - WonkeyDude98
K. Where can I get bleach cause if I listen to this I know I'm definitely going to hate this. - AlphaQ
Gotcha covered. - WonkeyDude98
33rd review and you gave this a -3. Anyone noticed this? - AlphaQ
Interesting. - WonkeyDude98
I agree - 2storm
They became popular off of a movie, the most common way for an artist or group to get recognized. - Mcgillacuddy
Sorry if this is irrelevant, but I’m requesting you do an album review of “CAMILA” by Camila Cabello when it comes out. - visitor
I'll do my best. Not a Camila fan (AND SHE CUT I HAVE QUESTIONS GRRR), but I have some expectations. - WonkeyDude98
Thanks Wonkey - visitor
I think Sober Up is great. Call my Dad is crap. - 445956