grandson - A Modern Tragedy vol. 2
A Modern Tragedy vol. 2
There are a couple of things going on with this new EP from grandson. First, you might be asking who the fuck is grandson. Well his name is Jordan Benjamin and He is the latest in a long line of crossover pop acts. The thing that sets him apart is his dedication to social justice. He created XX Resistance a way of connecting fans with charities trying to make a real change. He says the right things in interviews and seems to want real change in the world, but then there is the music. You can say all the right things, have all the right looks but if your music is bad none of it is going to matter one bit. That is where we find ourselves on this EP, A Modern Tragedy vol. 2, a album full of a lot of big ideas but with very little else. There is a real angst to this record, but it feels incredibly misplaced. What seems to make grandson the most angry is just a general sense of dread rather than anything real or tangible. Sure He will make the occasional allusion to Trump, how millennials are viewed by older generations and mental health, but it is the most baseline ideas you could possibly have on the subjects. Just because you throw in screeching guitars and trap drums does not mean you are making modern music. There seems to be the thought that the way you sound edgy is by being the loudest most distorted one, and while that might have worked back when Punk first broke onto the scene it's just not the case anymore.
There is this pretty clear line from Rage Against the Machine to grandson, but instead of having a unique political message He is just rewarming old and tired ideas. The bigger the noise the better the song seems to be the prevailing wisdom on this record, but eventually the whole things starts to sound blown out. Calling this record alt-rap (yes I wanted to break my own fingers for typing that) doesn't really encapsulate how un-rap this album really is. grandson seems content to lift from any genre without knowing the first thing about what makes that genre great. Rap isn't good just because someone rhymes two words together, it is about the emotion, spirit and history that comes along with it. The Youtube generation seems to forget that sometimes and thinks just because they are arriving at a sound for the first time than no one else ever has. The record just feels self indulgent and self reverential in a way that you don't often hear from brand new artists. In the end A Modern Tragedy vol. 2 is anemic both musically and lyrically, devoid of any real nutritious goodness. This record is in a word: bad.
3.0 out of 10