06. The Internet – Ego Death
It’s a band, a real band! Odd Future subsidiaries Syd Tha Kid and Max Martians released their third project Ego Death in 2015 and it did just as much for them as it did for the reincarnation of the R&B band. A new age version mind you, but one that is just as musical as it is soulful, closer to neo-soul in an alt-soul world.
Syd finally stands out as a star in the making with her sultry vocals and fully realized pen game, which drives from a perspective that has been mostly untouched in R&B. Setting the tone immediately on “Get Away” she opens the album singing, “Now she want to fuck with me / Live a life of luxury, models in my money trees / Such beautiful company / Fuck a 9 to 5 I’m seeing dollar signs / But I’m still driving around in my old whip / Still living at home got issues with my old chick, she blowin’ up my phone.”
Honest and raw, the album proceeds to deliver moments of jazz, hip hop percussion, and futuristic synths, all while Syd’s hypnotic tone is all encompassing, and unexpectedly seductive. Over the clapping drum beat and romping bass guitar of “Somthing’s Missing” Syd finds peace in warning a new lover that it’s not worth going through the heartbreak, because she isn’t going to commit. “Don’t get caught up loving me,” she chants. “I just think I’m way too young to fall in love, sign of the times I guess.”
Features from some of music’s best including Janelle Monáe, James Fauntleroy and Vic Mensa are welcomed but land as afterthoughts to the magnetic chemistry The Internet has found this time around. Making Ego Death one of the best non-commercial R&B albums of the year. – Jamie Wexler