For Those I Love - For Those I Love
Mar 26, 2021 (updated Mar 26, 2021)
50
Oof.

The essence of this album might be commendable, but the substance is pretty underwhelming (it’s nothing more than average melodic house beats with narrative vocals à la Highly Sedated [except, done badly]). Is this a likeable album? Could be for some people. Is this AOTY material? Nowhere near it.

I can see why some would like this, it’s more narration than it is "music" in the end; in this album, the melodies and music only serve to support and cushion the vocals and what it narrates. Except, it’s done wrong since the music fights against the vocals for the spotlight.

In this same spirit, one of the primary issue of this album is that the vocals tend to get overwhelmed by the chaotic and heavily reverberated music playing in the background. It leads the listener’s focus astray from the vocals which were intended to be the driver here. Also, it certainly doesn’t help that the singer’s vocals are sung with such a heavy accent that it’s difficult to comprehend what he’s saying in the first place.

Therefore, I can appreciate this to an extent, but do I like this? Not really. I don’t see myself ever coming back to this, and for what it is, it is a good effort but nowhere near as finely executed as it could have been.

Edit: These critics are high on sum shit.
jcbal97's Tags
6 Comments
Mar 26, 2021
My thoughts exactly
Mar 27, 2021
think 40 is a harsh score but i cant disagree with most of what you said. His voice is a bit offputting for me and the gravity of what he is saying doesn't really come accross as like you said the attention tends to be taken away from the message because the music is competing for your attention - for me the music always wins. I really wanted to like this album a lot more than i did but it didnt really leave much of an impact upon me. I find it baffling why this is getting so many rave reviews from the critics to be honest. Its far from a bad album but far from album of the year contention also.
3d ago
don't think you can knock him for his accent, if that's the way someone speaks that's the way they speak, for me it shows he's genuine. Other than that I more or less agree.

That said, this guy is very low-budget, the issues you point out are largely due to mixing/production issues that could easily be polished up with a bit more money. I think it's getting good reviews more for the potential of the artist than anything.
3d ago
@ChrisTayeul "don't think you can knock him for his accent, if that's the way someone speaks that's the way they speak"

I get what you mean there, but I disagree. Considering the fact that his accent is such a big staple of his music, I can’t ignore it and just pretend that it doesn’t have an effect on the end result because it does have a significant impact on it, and it lessens my enjoyment of the album.

"the issues you point out are largely due to mixing/production issues that could easily be polished up with a bit more money"

I mean, some issues can be due to musical engineering but for the most part, I thought that the production aspect of the album was fine. What I had an issue with was the lack of appropriate equilibrium between the elements which caused the vocals and music to clash often. That wouldn’t be a production issue but indicative of a lack of musical experience from the artist.
2d ago
Is it worth noting that issues with comprehension of the lyrics may not necessarily be down to accent, but whether the listener is familiar with the subject matter and cultural references? In particular the album is very specifically about the artist's relationship with his best friend and the environment they grew up in and experienced together and was initially made just to be shared with family and friends before becoming something else.

Taking this into account I think it is harsh to knock the album on comprehension of lyrics or accent, sometimes you can just acknowledge an album may not have been made for you which i think is hyper relevant for this case.
2d ago
@bradshak I get that, but I solely base my scores on personal enjoyment. That said, I can appreciate this album as a vulnerable offering by the artist, but still, it does not change the fact that I do not enjoy it and his accent contributes to my dislike of the album.

My appreciation of this album ≠ my enjoyment = my score.

"Unknown Pleasures" by Joy Division is considered a masterpiece across the board because it is vulnerable but most importantly, it had a tremendous impact on the post-punk scene. If you check the page for the album, the score is mind-boggingly high. Still, I gave it a 50, because I did not enjoy it. But it doesn’t mean I don’t respect/appreciate it.
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