Mick Jenkins
The Healing Component


3.5
great

Review

by minimus123 USER (4 Reviews)
September 13th, 2017 | 8 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mick comes through with another jazzy, thought-provoking concept. Although not as watertight as before

Chicagoan wordsmith Mick Jenkins is perhaps best known for his concepts. Some find this trait too preachy and pretentious, while others (including me) see it as a conceit that allows him to stand out from a thriving modern hip-hop scene. Before with The Water[s], Mick’s breakthrough mixtape, he conveyed the importance of truth. With his debut studio album here, The Healing Component, love is on the agenda, being symbolised as the “healing component” – as of course, love heals all (cliché alert). However, don’t expect any gooey ballads, as Mick’s artistic gaze is set on the wider picture of love, exploring a palette of themes to paint it with finesse. These include the use of his music to spread positivity (“Spread Love”); the friction that exists among creed, ethnicity and gender (“Strange Love”), and his perceived importance of expressing love for others through prayer (“Daniel’s Bloom”). What really resonates with me personally however is Mick’s frequent mentioning of loving oneself. He even devotes an entire track to this underappreciated topic with “Angles”, dropping witty lyrics and references to devise the ultimate self-respect anthem. Also containing what may be his funniest line: “You should love you so much that you go Marilyn Manson and blow yourself.”

However, I do have some grumblings concerning Mick’s new concept. Rather than leaving the lyrical content to the listener’s imagination, Mick’s has decided to forcefully lecture its actual meaning via these bloated, self-indulgent soundbites (apparent real-life conversations with his sister). It’s a shame, as although it was quite explicit, the concept on The Water[s] revealed itself more cryptically – a quality I found truly absorbing. Furthermore, Mick’s writing occasionally comes across as a bit pedestrian, such as the chorus of “Spread Love”, where Mick decides it appropriate to repeatedly drone “Spread love, spread love…”. Elsewhere on the record, some of Mick’s verses and hooks sound like random assortments of his mannerisms: the trees, the truth, the water, and so on. It’s almost as if some of the material here has been regurgitated out of previous writing sessions. Also – a minor point perhaps – does anyone else not think that Mick’s purposeful naming of The Healing Component to correspond with THC a little corny?

Luckily, where Mick’s sermon occasionally wavers, the music redeems – consisting of the same murky jazz-rap affair he established on The Water[s]. However, on The Healing Component, Mick channels his jazz and soul influences more strongly than before, smoothing his flows and singing with added confidence. This is immediately apparent from the opening title track, where Mick’s soulful croon infuses with an uplifting brass section to produce his catchiest and grandest hook yet. The jazzier shift in style comes to a head on lead single, and BADBADNOTGOOD collab, “Drowning”. Beginning with Mick’s subtle wailings pasted over a spacious cowbell backbone, the track crescendos into a jazz-rap masterclass; his impassioned and dynamic performance ensures the spotlight never leaves him in spite of the exhilarating instrumental. At the halfway point, we get a nice dance break with “Communicate”, allowing some digestion of the conceptual mass. Jovially flowing over a lusciously textured beat mirroring the euphoria of love, Mick shows us that he knows how to relax from educating the masses when he wants to.

Although a tad bloated and preachy, and coming off as “The Water[s] Pt.2” at times, The Healing Component is as enjoyable as it is thought-provoking – a solid stab at a topic so multidimensional and misunderstood. However, I fear that if Mick continues to ply this “one concept one album” route, his creative output may suffer. He’ll need to change things up next time to remain relevant, let alone advance his position. Perhaps the inclusion of more personal experience? Although shades of it are present here, it would be nice to learn more about who Mick is - we know what he believes in, but what experiences led him to develop his precepts?


user ratings (69)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
minimus123
September 13th 2017


7 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

New to this reviewing stuff so thought I'd fill in a few gaps for practice.



Any constructive criticism is appreciated

MarsKid
September 13th 2017


5214 Comments


I'm actually quite a fan of this review. Nothing really glaring I'd point out to be honest, except a reminder that you should use italics for album titles; that is generally what the format is around here.

Digging: Perturbator - New Model

minimus123
September 13th 2017


7 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah for some reason when I copy the text from a word document it removes the italics. I'll try find a solution.



Thank you for the kind words, much appreciated

MarsKid
September 13th 2017


5214 Comments


Of course my man. I copy from Word as well, so yeah, you gotta remember to add the italics and such in post-production lol

minimus123
September 14th 2017


7 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So how would I use italics? because ctrl+i isn't cutting it

BlushfulHippocrene
September 14th 2017


1805 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great work, mate. I'm glad this got a review, and a quite good one at that. There's a personable, often informal, though very entertaining tone here that I love. Excited to see more from you. You can find a BB code list here (http://www.sputnikmusic.com/forums/misc.php?do=bbcode), italics are formed by typing [i ]words[/i] like this, except get rid of that space after the first "i".

Here's a few minor nitpicks regarding expression. Take them with a grain of salt, because they're very subjective, but I think they still hold some weight:

allows him to stand out from a thriving modern hip-hop scene

This strikes me as a little awkward; the "from" seems to separate Mick entirely the genre, whereas it seems you mean he stands out within (and contributes to) the thriving scene.

Before with The Water[s] is a little awkward, too, because of the "because" (heh); "being symbolised as the “healing component”, I'm unsure if this is technically incorrect, but something like "the titular 'healing component' symbolising said love" might read better, the phrase "symbolised as" strikes me as a little off.

It might also be worth exploring some of the themes in more depth so as to reinforce what it is you like or did not like - in this case, it sounds like it was a lack of subtlety.

Digging: Hundred Waters - Communicating

minimus123
September 14th 2017


7 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks dude, really appreciate it! Ah i seeeeeee.



Yeah I did struggle with the intoduction the most and it seems its been noticed! Thank you for thenpointers, I was looking for the pickiest criticism possible with this one.

qwe3
September 14th 2017


21803 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Chalk me up as another fan of this review. Agree that it isn't as good as The Waters. He has one of my fav voices in rap.



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