Saturday, August 13, 2016

Rae Sremmurd fail to make memories in the struggling 'SremmLife 2'

SremmLife 2 by Rae Sremmurd
When duo Rae Sremmurd (Swae Lee + Slim Jimmi) dropped their debut studio album, SremmLife, in January 2015, they hit the game with a fun spunky youthfulness that was ingenuous but also fresh and challenging, and combined with Mike Will Made-It’s new age mixes, they quickly became an ear-worm sensation. Fast forward a year and eight months and we have their sophomore/sequel LP, SremmLife 2 (Aug. 12, Eardruma/Interscope). Unfortunately, this followup is a step-down for the twosome, less fun, less decent and less practical than the original.
Mike Will and his helpers P-Nasty, DJ Mustard, Skooly and others combine hard and soft sounds in just the right ways and at just the right volumes for a very moving production set indeed. Their specialty here would be the distant vocal effects and wide, spacey atmospheric ambiance in tracks like the ‘80s-ish “Look Alive.” The bump and bounce of other tracks cut through very well though, and Gucci Mane, Juicy J and Lil Jon help give them that feel. The topics covered as you might suspect never stray from girls, drugs, booze, cars, jewelry, partying, money and a whole lot of spending. Sometimes, when the boys aren’t reading out loud basic rhymes of scripted industry-rhetoric, they are completely content just cry-singing about their unrequited loves.
Except for the creative beats, SremmLife 2 is a disappointment, but this type of near-drivel should be expected from a major money-driven label like Interscope and young artists like these who have so little say and control over their artistic decision-making. It’s a shame the carefully crafted musics by Mike and company had to go to waste supporting Swae and Jim’s dumbed down lyrics. They’re not sloppy vocalists, but they are sloppily principled in the album. Perhaps they should stick together and redeem themselves with an indie project before splitting up. The fans definitely deserve it after this.
2 out of 5 stars

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