Lil Ugly Mane
Oblivion Access


4.0
excellent

Review

by Tristan Jones STAFF
December 21st, 2015 | 635 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The blues won't born in a bunker.

Writing about Oblivion Access, a bittersweet final hurrah years in the making, presents mixed feelings of obligation. In a writeup for Fader, Duncan Cooper describes Lil Ugly Mane’s "winding-down of his career [as] a commentary about its own non-viability.” So, while it feels necessary to do his finale justice, it feels counterintuitive to speculate what it all means, ya know? In Travis Miller (LUM)’s bandcamp description, he describes the album both crudely and profoundly, with a signature flavour of black comedy dotted with obscene self-awareness. There’s no denying the level of commitment at hand, but cynical humour is one of Miller’s best coping mechanisms. He uses a bathtub analogy, and explains how Oblivion Access’s content is “all the shit, cum, blood, piss, sweat, flakes of dead skin, and hair collecting by the drain, too thick and clotted to fit through the trap.” Maybe it's best to take the bone Miller hands to us. It’s an album of dealing with baggage. Ugly, real baggage - the kind you sift through and throw out with a sigh of relief.

The sound is a bit of a departure from the Memphis flavour on 2012’s Mista Thug Isolation, with a more industrial, Tackhead-y tinge, reminiscent of his background in noise music. Mane has stated, “THIS IS NOT A CLUB RECORD,” and the way he rides his beats reinforces this. His flow is often more poetic than energetic. More self-effacing than self-aggrandizing. On “Slugs”, Miller spits vinegar, delivering the grittiest, most infectious flow present (and watch for the Portishead sample). With “Collapse and Appear”, he uses a rigid text-to-speech system in the second half that clashes with the nuanced production. It’s questionable whether the voice adds or takes away the potency, but it pops the lyrics in a way that they aren’t embedded in LUM’s persona, but more of a deeply personal document for examination. “Drain Counter” is a productional and lyrical highlight; at times, the production is reminiscent of cLOUDDEAD’s Ten, with a cosmic ambience that doesn’t whitewash the beats, except with more compelling wordplay. The background violin calls to mind a serene summer afternoon, as though Miller is atoning in hindsight, far-removed from the source of any wrongdoings.

There’s plenty of diversity here. “Leonard’s Lake” blends Norfolk Jazz & Jubilee Quartet vocal melodies with creaking porch swings, dusty Casio keyboard lines, and hi-hat rhythms that might have been created by hitting spoons on a salad bowl. “Warmest Flag” has traces of noise, impossibly deep bass, and glitchy tape reels. (The latter of those two isn't particularly interesting, while the former could have nostalgic context for the Virginian.) Closer “Intent and Purulent Discharge” feels uncomfortably intimate. The refrain, “what’s it all mean / what’s he saying when he says it / what’s the underlying topic / what’s the motive in his message / blugh blugh blugh blugh!” mocks both others’ speculation of his lyrics, and his own sincerity. The disgusted tone mirrors the track title (equating his creative output to pus leakage), and falls somewhere between an actual nervous breakdown and a letter of resignation. Really, what you take away from Oblivion Access will probably depend on how invested you are in Miller. As an experimental hip-hop release, there are more thought-out efforts outlining bolder statements; but that doesn’t matter. Oblivion Access is exactly what it needs to be: both a collage of Miller’s capabilities, and a lament of what he is incapable of. Lil Ugly Mane isn’t a god. Not hardly. He shits, pisses, and bleeds like the rest of us.



Recent reviews by this author
Black Wing No MoonSufjan Stevens The Ascension
Nocturnerror Last Seconds Of Resentment RequiredPaula Temple Edge of Everything
Jon Hopkins SingularityReindeer Field Reports From The Western Lands
user ratings (305)
4
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Jots
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2015


7341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

https://liluglymane.bandcamp.com/album/oblivion-access

idk. 3.9/5

a bit short of time around xmas, so sry if this is ehhh.

and thx Deezer and Pots for picking out a couple of samples that've been driving me bananas

Fader post I referenced: http://www.thefader.com/2015/05/01/lil-ugly-manes-long-retirement-from-rap

Conmaniac
December 21st 2015


26410 Comments


here we go

Jots
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2015


7341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

or hep will send mx an incendiary message

Asdfp277
December 21st 2015


23319 Comments


staffing him would be a positive move ! >:]

Gwyn.
December 21st 2015


17231 Comments


pumped af for this shit

gud review main

Jots
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2015


7341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rate it disingenuously high so we can see something cool in our BNM

Lord(e)Po)))ts
December 21st 2015


66860 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

make johnny chief of staff

Asdfp277
December 21st 2015


23319 Comments


i'll probably end up 3.5ing this tbh

Lord(e)Po)))ts
December 21st 2015


66860 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

asdfp ill probably end up giving your life a lite 3.5



weeks until i find you and kill ur fam

Asdfp277
December 21st 2015


23319 Comments


WHAT THE FUCK DID U JUST SAY ABOUT ME, YOU LITTLE SHIT

i would love to love this so hard, this is so cool. it. just. doesn't. click.

Asdfp277
December 21st 2015


23319 Comments


this is exactly my kinda thing, but then i'm like ?????

Lord(e)Po)))ts
December 21st 2015


66860 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

its pretty hard to process

LotusFlower
December 21st 2015


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I think the weakest aspect of the album is the few tracks where he doesn't sound like hes getting that immersed in how insanely odd the album sounds. Likee. he goes hard on the closing track and opposite lanes and slugs... but then you get tracks like Grave Within a Grave, Drain Counter, and Achille's Foot where he doesnt really sound like hes getting into it at all and just kinda slides one ear and out the other.

SharkTooth
December 21st 2015


14195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

RIP Mane

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2015


45092 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

That summery was meant to be weren't not won't I'm guessing? And you also spelt whether as 'wether' in the second paragraph



Otherwise good shit johnny boy

bowlofsoup
December 21st 2015


1217 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

First thing by him I've listened to by him, but this rules.

Lord(e)Po)))ts
December 21st 2015


66860 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

its won't cuz its G

LotusFlower
December 21st 2015


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

go listen to his other stuff cuz its cool

Gyromania
December 21st 2015


32380 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah this whole thing is so good. it might be my favorite of his actually.





LotusFlower
December 21st 2015


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

i dunno know where i stand yet because im still not feeling a good portion of it, but itll probably grow on me



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy