Manny’s Album Reviews

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Manny Jaime, Writer

Savage Mode 2 – 21 Savage and Metro Boomin

“Savage Mode 2” is the successor to “Savage Mode,” which was released in 2016 by the Atlanta rapper and producer duo 21 Savage and Metro Boomin.

The album features guest appearances by big names such as Drake, Young Thug and Young Nudy with special voice-overs and interludes done by the one and only Morgan Freeman. This album showcases the grim nature that 21 Savage is known for in his music. The dark and heavy production by Metro Boomin makes songs like “Runnin,” “Many Men” and “Snitches and Rats” feel like they’re out of horror movies. The Morgan Freeman monologues are painted as clips reminiscent of old True Crime Stories episodes.

Metro Boomin does a flawless job in supporting 21 Savage’s persona of being something out of a modern horror movie. The production is the big takeaway on Savage Mode 2. Production also features Atlanta producers C-NOTE and Southside who take the raw Atlanta sound to another level. Metro Boomin takes many dips and turns throughout the project while sampling 50 Cent on “Many Men” and “Touch Me Now” by Stephanie Mills on “Said N Done.”

The feature from Drake is your average Drake feature. It isn’t disappointing or bad by any means but it’s nothing to go crazy over. Young Thug delivers an effortless clean delivery over Rich ###### while Young Nudy drops possibly one of his best verses ever on “Snitches and Rats.”

The only song that’s worth being skipped on the album is “My Dawg.” It isn’t terrible but it’s just undermining compared to the rest of the album. The song just feels empty in comparison to tracks like “Many Men” or “Runnin.”

This album is 21 Savage’s best project yet and manages to further prove that he is nothing close to a one hit wonder that people were labeling him as years before.

 

Rate: 8/10

Best Song- “Many Men”

Worst Song- “My Dawg”

 

Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez (Deluxe) – Gorillaz

“Strange Timez” is the latest release by the virtual band Gorillaz.

The album transcends a wide array of genres with features by artists such as Elton John, Beck, JPEGMAFIA, Skepta, and Schoolboy Q. It’s covered with feel good music that doesn’t disappoint the ears. The album is very upbeat and features a much more ambient sound throughout the project while maintaining the sound that Gorillaz is known for. 2-D, the band’s lead vocalist, fits his voice into all the right spots on tracks even while being side to side with big voices such as Elton John or Beck.

Stand out tracks include “The Pink Phantom,” “The Last Chord,” “Friday 13th” and “How Far.” “The Pink Phantom” blends the eerie sound of 6LACK with the classic voice of John Elton. This combination of a variety of sounds is what makes the album so progressive. London R&B singer Octavian delivers a flawless performance on “Friday 13th” that cements the song’s relaxing and chill identity. “How Far” features UK MC Skepta ripping through Tony Allen’s featured drum beat. The song “Simplicity” isn’t bad by any means. It has a relaxing and beautiful groove to it, but it sounds more like a 40 second interlude than a stand alone track.

“Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez” is a beautiful album and a good introduction to Gorillaz discography if you haven’t happened to listen to them yet. 

 

Rate: 9/10

Best song – “The Pink Phantom” (feat. Elton John and 6LACK)

Worst song – “Simplicity” (feat. Joan As Police Woman)