What So Not - Not All The Beautiful Things

What So Not
Not All The Beautiful Things

What So Not or Chris Emerson if you would like to go by his biblical name is a former Flume collaborator who is now branching off on his won with the debut record "Not All The Beautiful Things". Don't let the Flume reference fool you though this is no future bass album. From the first moment this record feels shockingly predictable. Every drop, every note feels done, and done over and over again. One of the singles "Stuck in Orbit" has this massive potential at the beginning, but then What So Not goes on to tick every basic electronic box as the song progresses. This happens time and time again on this record where you want something great to happen but only Emerson's first though it was you get. This album feels about 8 years past where it could work and 10 years past where it would be incredible. Every song has a feature you've likely never heard of, goes on too long and rarely goes anywhere. The themes are so surface level dance music: female vocal? Check. No name rapper? Check. One or two tracks without vocals? You got it. Does all this sound familiar? It should because so many damn electronic albums have done this exact same thing. The predictability makes Not All The Beautiful Things  a tough album to write about because it's jsut exactly what you would expect it to be. "Goh" is the more dub step heavy track, but barely scratches the surface of the genre and it's like of dynamic bass is pedestrian at best. Just to add insult to injury the vocal is just affected yelling the same words over and over.

"We Keep on Running" is the track that really sent me over the edge. When the vocals come in, presumably sung by Emerson himself is so cringey it's hard to get through. Besides the fact that the track has so much self importance it is about to burst it also feels utterly pointless. It's not The Chainsmokers bad, but it isn't far off. What So Not seems to dip his toe in damn near every electronic genre, but never really digs into that sound. You get the sense that He said "that seems fine" many many times throughout the production of this record. Michael Christmas, a guy I like shrinks on his feature because the beat on "Monsters" just isn't very good. "Bottom End" is the one truly Future Bass track on the record and does have some pretty exciting tones going on, but the song flows just exactly like you would expect it to, missing so many opportunities to be great.  What So Not has a few good remixes and has garnered some attention from the mainstream but this album is a huge step backwards for the electronic artist. Only time will tell if this project moves any further but if these are the results let's hope not.

3.0 out of 10


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