Attached to any other OFWGKTA artist, an album titled Feel Good would seem to be a joke; a satirical label for a project filled with violence, misogyny, self-loathing, absurdist tales of indulgence, or all of the above. Instead, the sophomore release from The Internet is earnestly titled music by and for people that epitomize the phrase.
The Internet is lead by DJ/singer/producer Syd the Kyd and producer Matt Martians. The music they make could most easily be described as a smooth amalgamation of jazz, neo-soul and funk. Lush landscapes are woven together with plush drums, thrumming guitar strings, and pianos that ping and pounce underneath splashing cymbals. Like the spacey-interludes on “Cloud Of Our Own” or the electro-energized breakdown on “Partners In Crime Part Two”, tracks often pick up riffs, ride vibes, and return to dynamic melodies. It’s chill and unobtrusive, without ever becoming boring or repetitive.
Syd might not be what you’d call a “technically gifted singer,” but this never becomes a deterrent. She appears to know this herself and, as a result, stays on key and beat without attempting vocal tricks she couldn’t pull off. She sings, hums and warbles straightforward bars that are beautiful in their simplicity. The tracks also benefit from frequent forays into instrumental stretches and meandering jams, such as the fantastic, funky “Pupil | The Patience”. Even on the songs that feature guests Tay Welker or Jesse Boykins III, the group gives the production prominence, to great success.
While its always dangerous to make assumptions as to an artist’s personal life based on his/her lyrics, Syd seems to be in a happy place, as evidenced by verses that match the bliss-evoking production. On the jazzy “Dontcha” she admits “I gotta get you, cause I just wanna vibe with you/ Let’s find some place to go, cause I gotta know if you want me too.” And on the bedroom-soft “Don’t Even Know”, it’s hard to miss the pleasure in her voice when she coos, “You’re beautiful, you brighten up my day, and when your skin touches mine, I get goosebumps right away … as usual, I long for your embrace.” While there a few instances where Syd’s lyrics risk slipping from the simple to the obvious or cliché (“loving you’s so wonderful/ like butterflies and waterfalls”), the only major point of criticism would by Mac Miller’s guest verse. He continues his interesting transition to experimental weirdo, but isn’t charismatic enough to pull off his drugged-out singing on “wanders of the mind”.
This album should serve as further poof of Odd Future’s diversity and true musicianship; more evidence that the collective can’t be pigeonholed as immature or unlikely to last. But more importantly, it’s a damn enjoyable listen. It’s perfect music for letting sun-drenched days slip past and lounging with your significant other.
4 out of 5
You can buy Feel Good on Amazon.