"Anime, Trauma and Divorce" turns out to be a rather gimmicky project, as even if Open Mike Eagle presents himself set to be likeable, the outcome only lands on the contrary, solidifying himself as one of the most unimpressive rappers to fall under the abstract hip hop label that I've heard thus far.
This record represents something that is just as weird as 2020 as a whole and that only is supported by the outlandish album title "Anime, Trauma and Divorce", as it implies that these three subjects are intertwined in his life and such are only brought up quite often.
With this eccentric and comedic album title I feel like Open Mike Eagle sums up quite well his two-sided persona and the overall content displayed on the record, as, weirdly, there's this kind of concept that is imminent in the air throughout the whole experience but never really takes full form or develop into being something finished, just as much as the song ideas themselves.
These three topics, or anything remotely related to them, come up often throughout all the tracks, as there is this ridiculous personal overtone to them since Open Mike Eagle touches on subjects that are fully private and that overtone is displayed and opposed to comedic elements that are hinted by him in some cuts, creating an absolutely unimaginable dichotomy between two song components that should be totally opposite and that is essentially the only genius segment of this album.
As an example of this polarity serves the track "The Black Mirror Episode", something that appears as oddly hilarious to me, as Open Mike Eagle is utterly and rowdily depicting the situation of a science fiction television series' episode simply ruining his entire marriage and demanding some counselling from whoever was behind the show for the damage that it caused, and he only does so in a manner that I genuinely think he wasn't joking.
As much as I think that there are certainly some witty configurations within this LP that I didn't exactly give acknowledgement for at first, I still find that this is a gigantic lost opportunity, since if Open Mike Eagle was more interesting as rapper in the technical side and added that to his absurd and laughable personality and the personal problems that are depicted within the record, we could've had on our hands some of the most off-the-wall and humorous hip hop to date, yet, as much as it hurts to say, the full result ends up being quite disappointing, and may I even say, an absolute snoozefest for the most part.
With that, Open Mike Eagle delivers a body of work that is extremely inconsistent, it features a handful of highlights, but its majority comes off as quite rushed and effortless, as he just rambling and delivering his rhymes in a really tedious and unenthusiastic way over production that is way more discreet than what seemed to me to be fit for his rapping style.
One adjective that comes to mind when trying to describe the effort is monotonous, as outside the upsides that I mentioned earlier, Open Mike Eagle is an exceedingly one-dimensional rapper and he only assembles a record that is up to par with that, highlighting mundane flows, tepid deliveries, surprisingly mediocre songwriting in its primary bulk, which is something that obviously surprised me since that is quite obviously supposed to be the main appeal, and, again, instrumentals that are admittedly not worse than decent but don't really shine a lot in a subgenre that is known for its incredible production.
All in all, I consider its biggest flaw to be its lack of development in its song ideas and concept, Open Mike Eagle is someone I admire despite boring me to death on this in particular, several notions have to be worked on but the potential is undeniably tremendous.
Favorite tracks: Death Parade, Sweatpants Spiderman, The Edge of New Clothes and The Black Mirror Episode.
Least favorite tracks: Fifteen Twenty Feet Ocean Nah - Live from the Joco Cruise.