Review Summary: “2013 is the year we take Friendzone back from the bros.”
One of my favorite aspects of Friendzone, the California production tag team of James Laurence and Dylan Reznick, is their absolute loathing of the term from which they got their name. “Our name doesn’t mean that sexist bull*** regarding girls putting ‘nice guys’ in the friendzone,” the duo said in a Facebook post in June. “It’s always been about your inner circle.”
Friendzone’s music, too, has always been about intimacy. They’ve grown from a lighter alternative to Clams Casino in the world of cloud rap to dropping a few compilation mixtapes to all of a sudden landing a production spot on a major label release-- A$AP Rocky’s fantastic “Fashion Killa” earlier in January. With the release of their first proper album, it’s more than a little impressive how quickly the baby has grown up. After a couple of years playing second fiddle to the likes of Main Attrakionz and Shady Blaze, DX
is Friendzone finally left to their own devices, making an album for themselves. And it’s brilliant.
There’s nothing on DX
that comes as a surprise, and that’s just fine. The duo released “Poly” and “8AM” well before the album’s release, and the other eight tracks fall perfectly into place. The synth line that permeates opener “Taswell” is reminiscent of the piano riff that ends “8AM” (which is a not-so-subtle nod to “Chuch”), while the bright, vocal-distortion-laden “Passion Breathing” bleeds wonderfully into its lower-key successor, “Rest pt. 2”. It’s a vivid, cohesive work, as fully formed as you’d expect an album three years in the making to be. While the majority of Collection I
begged for someone to come do the beats justice. DX
begs rappers to stay the hell away. This is the soundtrack to slow-mo hugs, long walks in the rain and sex in fun places. Hell, this is the soundtrack to life.
But who can really be surprised at this point? DX
doesn’t satisfy expectations as much as it does raise them. Everything the duo has touched thus far has turned to gold. Why should literally any release of theirs from hereon out be any different? Chuch.