Meek Mill - Expensive Pain
Oct 2, 2021 (updated Oct 2, 2021)
60
Started this album yesterday, but then I got in a call and it went until mad late so I finished it off today. So, yeah, my thoughts may be a bit all over the place.

Meek Mill is a rapper whose name I've heard plenty of times, but one who I'd never heard a full project from. So, ultimately, that's what compelled me to listen to his newest drop "Expensive Pain", his first new album in three years. At eighteen tracks long, there's quite a lot of ground that Mill gives himself to cover, and, unfortunately, only a small minority of that is covered. Dabbling in the same dreary, uninspired beats for its whole fifty-one-minute runtime, this experience delves into a boring slog really, really quickly. And it's not like the production choices or Mill's flows alleviate any of it; if anything, they only enhance everything. Save for a stronger verse of feature here or there, this album, more than being bad, was just incredibly forgettable. Kicking off with one of the high points, actually, a song that's very dynamic compared to its contemporaries, "Hate on Me" introduces some interesting production choices, which Mill complements nicely with his voice, and the beat switch works quite nicely. It set the groundwork for a record that had potential, even if it was lyrically underwhelming. However, the following tracks never capitalise on such potential; instead, they encourage a downward spiral into inescapable and, about midway through the record, inevitable boredom. Featuring the same bland beats, which even some admirable flow ideas can't save, and sub-par features to boot, they offer little of interest, not establishing themselves as distinctive or even exciting songs. Meek Mill feels like he's just settling, which is what you don't want in a record (not in a confident sense; almost as if he embraces the mundanity). The second half of the record is more of the same, but there are a couple of songs that are genuinely quite nice. The Young Thug feature on "We Slide" went off and flowed smoothly with Meek's flows, making for a much-needed refreshment in the record, and the penultimate track "Halo" had some super nice vocal contributions from Brent Faiyaz, who can really deliver when he's given the space. The record wasn't all boredom and dread; there were a couple of tracks where Meek Mill packed a punch, particularly when there's a nice feature he can work with, but, when those tracks have come and gone, "Expensive Pain" is an album stacked with filler, tracks that, in their dull production choices, escape your mind as soon as they came.

Best Tracks: Hate on Me (Intro), We Slide, Halo
Worst Tracks: Sharing Locations, Northside Southside, Flamerz Flow

Rating: C

2 Comments
Oct 2, 2021
Love this review, surprised 'Sharing Locations' is one of your worst tracks!! :)
Oct 2, 2021
Good job on the review!
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