This week, I review — in descending order of quality — Fetty Wap’s For My Fans, Fall Out Boy’s M A N I A, and SiR’s November:
For My Fans — Fetty Wap
Continues 2017’s trend of phenomenal R&B, combining traditional soul with 21st century electronic producing, hopefully proving that the trend wasn’t just a 2017 fad. I only wish Fetty forsook the 21st century’s obsession with too much autotune…
M A N I A — Fall Out Boy
Alternative (or is it emo electro?) boy band meets shallow experimentation, often mooching the sound of other, superior groups: lead vocalist Patrick Stump’s singing on “The Last of the Real Ones” (an eye-roll of a title) is basically Maroon 5/Adam Levine-obnoxiously-lite, and “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)” is straight up The Killers. I always respect experimenting, but since it’s nowhere near substantially meaningful enough to be considered respectfully interesting, it doesn’t make up for the largely unenjoyable listening experience. I’m not sure if they deliberately kept their vocals low in the mix as a form of an experiment, but I couldn’t get their voices loud enough on any of my headphones. Is that the mixers’ fault? The producers’? The mastering engineers’? A safe bet: When you spend most of an album annoyed about a crucial part of, you know, hearing the damn music, the whole thing probably isn’t worth discussing further. At least it has my favorite song title of the year so far: “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea.” HUH?!?!
November — SiR
Uninspired but admittedly listenable electro-fused R&B, more slow jazz than jazzy soul. The unavoidable comparisons to Fetty’s album this week are unfortunate…