My apologies for being late on this review. The week that IDLS dropped, my mom died. So, yeah, priorities. The album plays, in some ways, as the polar opposite of Tyler the Creator's Cherry Bomb, potentially fitting considering several factors that I won't get into here. This project is short, clocking in at under 30 minutes. But, what it lacks in length, it makes up in conciseness. With this project, listeners are given a glimpse into the mind of a young 20-something who's tasted fame, success, all the "good shit." However, at the end of the day, it's (potentially) because of that fame and success that said 20-something can't enjoy the fruits of his labor.
That's a deep concept.
But, as deep as it is, the album itself isn't exactly one that'll have you singing along with it. And truthfully, that's something you've got to respect. He focuses on the story and the music without getting swept up in "making the hits." He's not trying to make you smile. Truthfully, it seems like Earl Sweatshirt could give two blue fucks about what you, me, or any of us think, as long as he delivers what's on his mind and in his heart. Instrumentation goes from jazzy to "Drake-like" to abstract in a matter of seconds. In some ways, sonically and otherwise, the album's also the antithesis of Kendrick's TPAB, while still supplying similar feelings and messages.
I guess Earl's in bloom now. I'm curious, though: will he achieve his nirvana or succumb to his endeavors? It's that curiosity that'll drive people to continuously check out Earl's music.
Final Verdict: Stream and buy (yes, I know it's 30 minutes for nine or ten bucks; it's worth it, though, if you stream it and give it a shot).