7.9 - Really Good
It’s crazy that even though I just listened to one of the most wild albums I’ve heard, Neō Wax Bloom, this still managed so surprise me.
Quadeca was an artist that I’ve always known “existed,” and not much else. I hadn’t heard the greatest things about his work in the past, and he didn’t really standout to me as anyone who would make an “interesting” release. However, my expectations were subverted with Sisyphus, a track that completely blew my mind when I first heard it. I become more intrigued with the release of From Me To You, and of course, it surprise dropped AS I WAS LISTENING TO NEŌ WAX. Basically, I’m burnt out. But still, From Me To You is an album that although doesn’t quite stick the landing, is a somewhat passionate, surprising, and fun release, that’s a huge improvement for the artist.
Firstly, the amount of growth Quadeca has gone through, seen in this album is extremely impressive. The man went from doing impressions from other rappers, having a large amount of “lyrical rapper” energy on YouTube, and living in the shadows of more prominent artist, to an extremely talented producer and vocalist. So hats off to him. I’ll start out by pointing out the absolutely phenomenal production on here. The atmosphere and vibe of this album is very wintery and dreamy, with tons of compression, hard hitting and harsh synths, combined with an orchestral feel from violins and other strings, creating a very distinct combination of sounds that work surprisingly well. It’s like a hyperpop/trap symphony, with some industrial mixed in. It’s genre defying, and for the most part extremely well done, and in my opinion the highlight on here. I’ve also noticed that there are usually two types of tracks on this album, being the melodramatic breakup songs, which take up the majority, as well as the fun braggadocios cuts that find their way on here. It makes the album have a ton of variety, for better and for worse, with a somewhat consistent theme of heartbreak, which is a plus.
However, there are some things holding me back from finding this to be a great album. Firstly is Quadeca himself. Although I do think his fast rapping works quite well, and his vocals can be heavenly with the gorgeous production, I will have to admit that lyrically, he isn’t perfect. Even if he isn’t perfect, looking back at some of his older content, he has improved a ton. There are some great flows on this album, with some clever lines here and there, and for the most part I never really thought he ruined a track. For the most part, his rapping is fun,and clever, but some odd lines can take me out of the vibe immediately. This only happens for a few tracks though, and as a whole he does an acceptable job.
Probably my biggest issue with From Me to You is it’s direction. On here, it just seems like Quadeca at times does not know where he is going, due to its confusing amount of variety and odd pacing. I was talking to Matt, a fellow reviewer most of you probably know, and I think he summed up this perfectly, saying that Quad was “kinda throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks.” This to me, perfectly describes From Me to You. The album is an experiment. And for the most part, it sticks, and quite well. There are times when it does not stick, making the album feel bloated, but as a whole I really like what Quadeca is doing here. It’s inconsistent for sure, but this album makes me hopeful for his future, and I’m very excited to see where he goes next. It’s a quality, fun, atmospheric release from an artist I didn’t expect to deliver like this. Good job, Quadeca.
Best tracks: Sisyphus, Candles on Fire!, Can’t You See?, Maybe Another Day..., Alone Together, Burnin Bridges / Long Day (fav), Work!, Swallowed The Key (Interlude), It’s All a Game, Summit Pt. 1 & Pt. 2
Least fav: Smiling at the Ground, People Pleaser