Arts & Reviews

Sick! by Earl Sweatshirt Album Review

By: Weston Ryder

“pitchfork.com”

Whether or not you are a fan of Tyler, the Creator, and Frank Ocean, a majority of music listeners are familiar with their works and their friendship, but fewer listeners are familiar with their equally-talented comrade, Earl Sweatshirt.  Despite debuting as a member of the hip-hop group Odd Future alongside Tyler and Frank, Earl toed the line between the underground and mainstream music scenes, choosing to stay slightly more detached from the public eye.  While Earl has a discography as strong as both Tyler and Frank, Earl’s music was not able to reach the same level of critical acclaim due to his unique style of music.

When first listening to Earl’s music, one thing that differentiates him from his peers is the experimentalism found in his projects.  Earl is not an extremely experimental artist, but his offbeat rapping, monotone voice, and psychedelic beats are definitely an acquired taste for new listeners.  Despite his interesting style, Earl Sweatshirt is an amazing artist that more people should listen to, which can hopefully occur with the release of his new album, Sick!.

Like his other albums, Sick! is a fairly short project, coming in at 24 minutes with 10 songs.  At first glance, this length might seem like a negative, but its compactness works to its advantage.  Earl Sweatshirt is an artist that thrives off of creativity and inventiveness, and by not adding any filler tracks, this creativity shines through, with each song feeling fresh and different from the last.  Each song stands out differently, such as how “Tabula Rasa” and “Vision” excel in lyricism and instrumentals, respectively.  The album as a whole is a very interesting experience, and it was genuinely enjoyable to listen to overall.

While I did like the album a lot, it was not perfect by any means.  I enjoyed a large majority of the songs, but not all of them were super memorable.  While they were enjoyable during my first listen, I don’t see myself going back to all of them in the future.  Additionally, while this album is very approachable for new listeners, I felt as though it was not as experimental as his other projects. This may not be a detriment to everyone, but to me, I wish that he would have gone a little further.

If I had to pick 3 songs that are must-listens from the album, I would pick “Vision”, “Titanic”, and “Sick!”. Overall, I liked this album and felt as though it was a solid release from Earl; it was my favorite album released this month.  I definitely feel that it is a great introductory album to Earl Sweatshirt’s music for those who want to get into his discography.

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