Future - HNDRXX
Two weeks ago Future released his self titled album in a surprise drop, which is why just a week later the release of this record HNDRXX is just as shocking. Future felt like a total throwback to Future's trap roots, for better or worse, yet this album seems to be the pop answer to that record. With much more of a pop sensibility and harder lean on the ballads HNDRXX feels like the album for the masses while Future was for the diehards. It really is a genius move from Future and a way to please everybody, yet when we try to make everyone happy we usually end up disappointing most. Auto-tuned love songs have always been Future's bread and butter so when there was not a glimmer of one on Future it put a lot of people off. HNDRXX makes up for that with every track being one that could potentially be another top 40 burner. Future also provides more cutting lyrics on this album than Future, it is less about creating the trap vibe and more about creating music that will connect to a larger audience. The record is a fine listen but most of it is quite downtempo, allowing Future to go into more of the personal issues that have been surrounding his life in the past few years. Love and loss are far more central themes here, where Future was more about drugs, banging and partying. Future masking his face is another indication of how personal this particular record is. His face is usually central on his album art so this departure is one to notice.
The two records together offer a really nuanced view of just who Future is, both the Trap Hero and R&B Crooner. However both records are so dense with material that they do not feel like two sides of the same thing. Future has always been prolific, but both record have 17 tracks and are over an hour long, any subject Future wanted to cover he had to have done soon in this massive amount of time. Slitting the albums up does give the listener a break, yet both still feel like way to much much. Because Future puts out so much music a lot of it loses it's specialness and it's excitement. It just sounds like he is repeating "hundred thousand to hundred thousand" for the hundred thousandth time. The real standout on the record is "Selfish" which requires an assist from Rihanna. The song is almost a Trap meets Tropical house, so prepare for this to be burning up the dance floors all summer long. This album is certainly for the more casual Future fans, but it also feels like this half Rap half R&B half Trap stuff may be on it's few minutes of fame. Only time will tell.
7.1 out of 10