RL Grime - NOVA
This new album from RL Grime is going to delight some and frustrate the hell out of others. If you don't like Trap or Dub-Step than end the review here and put RL Grime out of your mind. The album ticks all those boxes but does blend in plenty of modern trap and EDM elements as well. At times it is expansive and great while at others it feels like a drop machine made ofr festival sets. "Undo" sounds like so many other tracks that have come before it that it is truly hard to take seriously. Almost all the hip hop collaborations on this album feel generic as all hell, total paint by numbers shit. Since the beginning of the album is front loaded with these tracks you can't help but cringe as the massive crops keep pouring in over hip hop tracks. It is pop masquerading as trap and dub step and it is not good. The featureless tracks are far better than those with, but just barely. The thing about this album is just how pedestrian it is. So much of it goes right by without you taking any kind of notice in what is going on. It feels like almost nothing is happening but place holder music. Sure there are huge drops like any EDM album, but it's all stuff we have previously done before. It's almost almost an hour of this and songs like "Reims" warble like an old Porter Robinson track but then does nothing else.
Songs like "Pressure" at least dial up the aggression to make themselves stand out. "Era" is the same with blaring horns, pure dub step bigness which will delight fans but do little to ingratiate others. NOVA does little to set itself apart both from the other people in RL Grime's genre or regular old pop music. You keep waiting for this thing to shift into another gear, or bring another dimension but it never does. The final piece of the album which begins with the the "Run for Your Life (Interlude)" is more female vocal driven EDM. I mean Daya being on the feature list should be proof enough of just how EDMy this album can get. RL Grime garnered himself a reputation as one of the better trap DJs out there, but translating that to an album, especially here is clunky at best. The record reaches peak absurdity on "UCLA" which is devoid of anything near interesting. "Rainer" has a somewhat ghostly electronic sound to it, but it is far to little far to late to save this record. It took RL Grime some time to produce and release this album, but man o man was it not worth the wait.
3.0 out of 10