Ambient neo-soul funk which could be a potential cure for insomnia.
Odd Future Records, 2013
4.5 / 10
If all you know about Odd Future (the hip hop/rap/art collective from LA), is Tyler, The Creator, Earl Sweatshirt or even Frank Ocean — then you’ll be in for a big surprise if you happen to catch The Internet in concert. Headed up by fellow OF members Syd tha Kyd and Matt Martians, The Internet pairs deft production and minimal beats to create ambient neo-soul funk.
Both Syd and Matt started their musical careers by dabbling with sound engineering, which led to producing and eventually on a path to being interested in creating the entire musical package from beat to vocals and lyrics. Much of Odd Future’s earliest mixtapes were in fact recorded in Syd’s old home recording studio. It’s no surprise then though, that the strongest aspect of Feel Good tends to be the music. While Syd’s vocals have significantly improved since The Internet’s debut Purple Naked Ladies, they’re just too delicate and straightforward without any sort of quirk or heartfelt soul to really pull a listener in. The lyrics are equally average verging on the saccharine to simple.
The Internet are at their best when they stay focused with clear song structures as they have a tendency to wander which leaches an already piddling energy level to an energy level barely above REM cycle sleep. However, there are brief moments where Syd and Matt have figured out how to really play to their strengths. “Don’tcha” is a shining example of where it all comes together with Syd almost having a Robin Thicke moment as she lets loose with a crooning sexuality that pairs nicely with the pulsing bass. “Runnin” featuring fellow band member Tay Walker on the vocals stands out as well. In fact, I think the songs where Tay is given a greater share of the vocals are almost all universally better than where Syd has the lead. His tone is just more unique.
Feel Good is a definite step in the right direction for The Internet and the album benefits greatly from it being recorded using live instruments as opposed to almost strictly digitized beats like their first album. The key to their future success will lie in their ability to craft songs that demand attention instead of merely play softly in the background. I have no doubt that both Syd and Matt have it in them, but this album just isn’t there yet.