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Nouvel Album « DORIS »
Sortie le 19 août
« L'album de hip-hop le plus attendu de 2013. » - TSUGI
A 19 ans, le plus jeune membre du collectif ODD FUTURE (Tyler, the Creator etc.) sortira son nouvel album solo le 19 août 2013.
Après des 'déconvenues' avec les autorités, Earl Sweatshirt s'est assagi et nous propose un album qui s'annonce exceptionnel !
Il est reconnu par beaucoup (dont Tyler !) comme l'élément le plus doué du collectif et un des plus doués du hip hop US en général.
L'album aux textes plus sombres que les autres membres d'OFWGKTA et composé de 15 titres,
est hautement attendu par les fans et convaincra sans nul doute tous les amateurs de Hip-hop et de musique plus généralement.
Frank Ocean, Tyler, the Creator, Mac Miller ou encore RZA font partie des feat annoncés sur cet album.
Et dire qu'on a pu croire Earl Sweatshirt perdu pour le rap. Ça aurait été vraiment dommage que le jeune prodige ne se remette pas de son séjour forcé dans une institution des îles Samoa, où sa mère a cru bon de le faire séjourner (pour ne pas dire interner) durant plusieurs années. À l'écoute de Doris, on peut être satisfait que le garçon de dix-neuf ans soit sorti de cette épreuve apparemment sain de corps et d'esprit.
Maintenant, il n'est pas certain qu'Earl Sweatshirt ne soit pas un peu dérangé, comme seul savent l'être certains génies. Car c'est bien d'une forme de génie dont il faut parler à propos de l'auteur de Doris. Ce premier album d'une densité impressionnante se permet de réinventer le rap alternatif avec Earl Sweatshirt en compositeur principal des quinze titres.
Ecrit avec Pharrell Williams et produit par The Neptunes, « Burgundy » rallume les feux de Compton et du rap West Coast version NWA. La tchatche d'Earl Sweatshirt associée ici à Vince Staples achève de placer la chanson au firmament. Mentor officiel d'Earl Sweatshirt, Tyler, The Creator fait rugir comme il se doit le pesant « Whoa » et sa rythmique sortie d'un esprit zombifié.
Un jazz désaccordé s'invite sur « Chum », hymne de fin de nuit pour piano-bar glauque. Frank Ocean rend la pareille à Earl Sweatshirt, qui s'était précipité sur Channel ORANGE en 2012, en lui rendant une petite visite dominicale avec « Sunday ». Le clou du spectacle revient à « Centurion » où Earl Sweatshirt sample « Soup » de Can. Personne avant lui ne l'avait fait. Il faut vraiment se demander si Earl Sweatshirt n'est pas un peu cinglé. À la façon d'un Syd Barrett, par exemple. - Copyright 2016 Music Story
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Then suddenly Earl disappeared off the internet and off of Odd Future's mixes. For two years, people wondered what had happened to Earl while Odd Future released crazier and crazier explanations for his absence, which played no small role in contributing to the mystique of Odd Future. Eventually, it was leaked that Earl's law professor mother had sent him to a school for "at risk" boys in Samoa. And then Earl was suddenly back just as quickly as he had been gone. However, while Earl had been off isolated from the world--the world was focusing in on Earl and the Odd Future crew. Tyler had started working with veteran music jack of all trades, Christian Clancy, who had been instrumental in guiding Eminem's early career. Odd Future member Frank Ocean was setting the r&b world on fire. People were listening. All eyes were on what Earl would do now with virtually total freedom over his music not to mention direct access to the best of what the rap industry had to offer.
Which brings us to "Doris." Light years more mature than "Earl", Earl has realized that shock tactics and gleeful fantasy rapes and killings quite simply cease to shock and lose their impact. Instead, Earl turns his insecurities and frustrations inward, offering up both intimate details of his life as well as a glimpse of the now man behind the Earl mask. The absence of his acclaimed poet father (Keorapetse Kgositsile), his loving but push/pull relationship with his mother, and his insecurities of dealing with such sudden and high expectations are all laid bare. One of the most rightfully talked about lines of the album comes from "Chum": "It's probably been twelve years since my father left, left me fatherless/ And I just used to say I hate him in dishonest jest/ When honestly I miss this n****, like when I was six/ And every time I got the chance to say it I would swallow it."
Now the music is a step above what many of the Odd Future crew have been putting out, and yet it still is within the same similar style of synth laden spare beats. There are virtually zero hooks on this album, almost being an endless stream of simply rap. This is both refreshing as well as one of the album's more annoying aspects. Aside from the real standout tracks, the rest of the album is practically a stream of consciousness as opposed to sounding like individual songs. Intriguing, but I'm not quite sure that this works out in the way that Earl intended.
There are a couple of songs, notably the Neptunes produced "Burgundy" that have a unique flair--but the rest fall into a similar pattern despite having different structures and being produced by a slew of different guys like fellow OF crew members Tyler and Matt Martians, not to mention Alchemist, Flying Lotus and more. It's interesting that Earl himself actually co-produced much of the album under the pseudonym "randomblackdude" along with Christian Rich (J. Cole, Lupe, Pharrell). Still, there is a cohesive, sleepy, muffled dissonance that is pervasive throughout the whole album. It's fitting for the lyrics, and Earl's slower delivery--and yet at times it feels like you're just slogging through without needed pops of relief.
For as many producers as appeared on this album, there are almost as many features like Mac Miller, RZA, Domo Genesis and Vince Staples. Herein lies my second big gripe with this album. For supposedly being all about Earl, this album has very little Earl actually on it. There are literally just four tracks without a feature--and two of those don't really count. Sometimes it pays off in spades--the emotional Frank Ocean track "Sunday" is perhaps the best song on the album, and the songs with Tyler have a palpable energy as they just feed off of each other. However, the album starts off with a weak track featuring no-name SK La'Flare, and you can't help but wonder why someone simply didn't just tell Earl no. Quite simply, this would have been a much stronger album if there was literally just more Earl.
"Doris" is part confessional, part coming of age, and yet part wholly detached and unaffected teen cool. Though "Doris" is no "Earl" in terms of graphic content, it's no "Heist" or "Recovery" either, so if "Relapse" era Eminem isn't your thing--you're probably not going to love "Doris." Although, quite frankly I doubt this will be an album that many will "love" or push as a classic. It's not. It's so insular that my appreciation of it is more academic than emotional (though if I'm in the right mood it can really hit home). What it is though, is a very exciting debut of potentially one of rap music's biggest future heavyweights. It reaffirms Earl's prodigious talent (especially at internal rhymes) and shows how exciting and adventurous rap can be when not overburdened with creating radio hits. This is much hungrier, much rawer and much more skilled than almost all of the mainstream rap releases of 2013--Jay included. And so for that, five stars.
Fortunately, Earl is the leader of the pack who raises the bar on all these tropes. I can recognize that a lot of people like the track with Frank Ocean, in the same way that a lot of people loved Super Rich Kids, but these are not my favorite parts of either album, because they just have a rawness to them with plain emo-rap type lyrics and a few awkward lines. Earl handles these pitfalls pretty well though, compared to dudes like Chance the Rapper (hate him), or the hyper-masculinity of ASAP Rocky (OK, but not for me), the punchy nasally flows of Danny Brown (I like him)...etc. Earl holds his own in the pantheon of swag-era, post-ringtone-rap, and manages to be mostly lyrical in a mostly post-lyrical rap landscape. Even at his most plain moments, he manages to infuse a certain level of detail, that is equal parts absurd, tough, and sensitive.
It's kind of weird when I hear something like Captain Murphy, which to me is a cheap (but mostly quality) knock-off of MF Doom, and then I hear Earl who also shows a clear influence from the Metal-fingered villain, but he adds something to that equation that doesn't seem as needlessly aggro (in the vocals) as Captain Murphy. Where Murphy bites both the wordplay and jazzy beat style of Doom, Earl continues to champion a more distinct beat niche that he shares with Tyler. There is much said about their rhyme content, but I feel like their beats don't get enough credit for maintaining that narcoleptic vintage drum machine and monophonic synth type sound. I am sure they make that sound on computers, but it doesn't have that over-quantized/over-mastered 16th beat Fruity-Loop trap sound that is the current staple of the majority of rap producers right now. Instead they created their own blend, mixing sort of a Wu-Tang-via-Eminem druggy quality with a bay-area-via-Pharell type minimalism, to come up with a hi-fi laptop version of sounds previously only possible through pushing vintage gear to it's limits on analog tape.
Most young rappers seem to pull from a very small pool of influences, and it's always been that way, until Odd Future came along. Earl especially, is one of those unique amalgams of artist who really has his ear to the streets and is aware of all the current trends, but who also seems to be extremely well-listened to a plethora of the rap niches that came before him and that exist both inside and outside of the "mainstream" (if we can even still use that term).
This is a very modest and consistent work, for an artist like this who seems to have so much going into and informing his work. The going trend now is to devalue your own work on purpose by over-saturating the market with free downloads full of cheap freestyles that repetitiously boast of never writing down lyrics, etc. Earl balances his nihilism and sensitivity in a way that avoids the extremes of either, to great success. Although I can't always turn on friends from my generation to Odd Future, Earl is the one young rapper who I think they should take the most time to consider. It might be a long time before we see another one this well-rounded on so many levels.
Overview) - The first thing I would like to say about this album is: There is much more maturity in this album. After all, it's been 3 years since Earl, he was only 16 when he made "Earl" and he did go to the Samoan Boarding School, where he must've gained some maturity. It is a lot different from Earl, lyrically and instrumentally. Earl Sweatshirt made it quite clear prior to the release of the album that it would be a lot different, and said that many people may not like it. He expected to lose some fans aswell as gain some. I do agree that it is much more mature and different, but I do not think that he will lose very many fans. I think some of the songs are a little bit more passionate, but there's still that raw, word playful Earl we're used to.
Lyrics) - As I said, I think it's a little bit more passionate and emotional in some of the songs, such as Sunday, Chum, etc. Other songs are a bit more like the old Earl, like Burgundy, Hive, Molasses, etc. One thing that I like is he is trying to do some experimenting, just as we saw in Tyler The Creator's "Wolf". There are also several effects on his voice, like in the song Knight, his voice slowly fades into a lower pitch until it's so deep it sounds like a robot or something and then it fades out and ends the verse. He did a similar thing in Guild where he had a deeper and very raspy voice. I think the lyrics are meaningful and at the same time, clever and fun.
Instrumentals) - In 2010 when we first heard "Earl", it was a time when OFWGKTA was much more raw, darker, and less passionate. Lyrically and Instrumentally. "Doris" features several different types of instrumentals, some are jazzy, and some are repetitive guitar strums. There is also a wider focus on percussions, also like we saw on "WOLF". Pre, Burgundy, Hive, Guild, and Centurion I'd consider to be similar with the hard, raw, and dark sound we're used to. Uncle Al grabbed my attention because it had 3 different drumbeats, 1 at a time, and then it would change to something else. I like songs that change tune in some form. 523, was only an instrumental song, and had a very thumpy bass sound to me. It was interesting because it showed off his instrumental focus. Sasquatch, which features an opening verse from Tyler The Creator, strikingly resembled the song "Cowboy" by Tyler. Sunday and Knight I think were also similar, but were much different from the rest of the album. Sunday especially was A. Jazzier, and B. more lyrically emotional. This is album has a nice rotation of different types of flows, rhythms, and beats. I hate albums where it all sounds the same, it makes it very dull.
Personal Opinion) - I think it's a very nice album; I liked 12 or the 15 songs on the album so I especially enjoyed it. As I said in the last part, it mixes it up nicely, different styles for different tastes. That's always nice. My favorite songs were Knight, Molasses, Hive, and Chum. Least Favorite songs: Pre, Burgundy (I think I speak for myself on that song), and Whoa (I don't think I stand alone with that one). I think the order of the songs was a little off, for example I though Centurion would've made a much better opening song, instead it's in the middle, and Pre is the first song. I was hooked on it for about 4 days, but I haven't found myself listening to it since then. Otherwise a solid album that many people enjoyed, especially myself.
More emotion, passion and maturity
Great mix up of rhythms
Decent flows and production
May be a disappointment to fans of his first mixtape "Earl"
Possible low lasting appeal (Might just be me)
It's not very long. I heard he rushed the album because his grandma is dying.
Rate 1/10: 8.7