Watsky-Cardboard Castles (Album) Review.
What makes us okay? What drives us to continue waking up, walking to and from our jobs acting like our lives are, in some way, improving? Are our lives improving or are we possibly dying slowly with no purpose at all? These questions are what Watsky takes hold of, wrestles, and then releases for the listener to contemplate on their own. The album maintains a positive, yet very realistic look on life, stating that " There's 7 billion 46 million people on the planet/And most of us have the audacity to think we matter" so rather than looking at his success in an album as some sort of debt the universe owed him (as some rappers do) he notes in the album that real success in life is not always there when we need them. The album dives into the challenge of death in Dedicated to Christina Li, which, is easily one of the strongest songs on the album. Throw in a song with witty insults to hipsters disguised by a set of well thought-out percussion and the result is Kill a Hipster, a fun, easy to listen to song, provided you're not a Hipster. There is a lot to be said for a rapper who can take life events and talk about how much worse they can make a person rather than pretending that every event in life has somehow pushed the person to success. That level of reality, mixed with Watsky's sharp, tongue in cheek sense of humor makes this album easy and often fun to listen to, even when he is addressing the challenges of life that we all face and the death that finds us all, sometimes far too early.
On top of the album staying sharp, Watsky's skills in rapping are undeniable. He is more than able throw out verses faster than an average listener can understand what he is saying. Watsky doesn't use much hood lingo at all, if any, which is appreciated. His intelligent sense of humor would be swayed if he were to conform his verbal usage. Watsky's skills shine brightly, showing he knows how to handle emotion just as well as he knows how to handle a microphone.
Is this album perfect? No. The skits don't have a lot of reason to be in the album and the beats in are a little cliche sometimes. However, the album is undeniably strong, especially for a first full-length album. If I were to change the album in any way it would easily be the name, Cardboard Castles, while being the title song and a track that has real thought put into it, lacks in comparison to the Tiny Glowing Screens Pt. 1 and pales to Tiny Glowing Screens Pt. 2, which, to be fair, is less of a song than a series of poetic thoughts fired off in rapid succession. The album is fun and easy to listen to, something that can be expected by an artist who is putting thought into his work as much as Watsky is.
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