Yung Lean
Warlord


3.5
great

Review

by John Darr USER (15 Reviews)
October 26th, 2016 | 61 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: a final fantasy definitely worth playing

Hip-hop music has always been entrenched in the relationship between MC and DJ, rapper and producer, lyrics and beat. The instrumentals that back each verse are often hypnotically repetitive, adding texture and a skeletal rhythm to supplement an emcee’s verses without distracting from them. As hip-hop became increasingly more accepted into the mainstream, tracks that boasted hooky lyrics and catchy beats found commercial success while linguistically and politically complex records continued to be prized by an invested fanbase. Modern hip-hop is home to a number of divisive artists whose substandard lyricism is excused (by their fans) due to other redeeming qualities in their music.

Yung Lean is undoubtedly one such artist. There is nothing particularly profound about Yung Lean’s lyrics; his bars contain braggadocio, tales of drug use and most notably admissions of sadness and depression. Supplementing Lean’s lyrics are raw industrial-cum-trap-cum-ambient instrumentals produced by a range of producers in his social circle. And supplementing the music are pieces of film that are remarkably bleak yet vibrant. Lean’s music videos boast Von Trier-esque slow-mo shots of death and partying in incredible definition; written and filmed documentation of him and his Sadboys crew portray a group of semi-aimless but friendly young men alternately troubled by and content with a communal touring lifestyle. In such a context, it becomes apparent what the purpose of Yung Lean’s music is: to capture and assert freedom, youth and drug use in a world where all are met with hostility.

On Warlord, Lean has abandoned all traces of the goofiness that marked his early word in favor of crafting a sincere and focused record. This approach not only yields a bonafide floor-shaking banger (“Hoover”) but a wealth of tracks that successfully merge all the elements of Lean’s sound – industrial beats, autotuned crooning/rapping, and huge synth leads – into conflicted yet coherent compositions (“Immortal”, “Highway Patrol” and “Hocus Pocus”). The ambient and industrial elements of Lean’s music are in constant contrast, but both are balanced to the point where the record avoids the sleepiness of some of his previous work (see “Greygoose”) or becomes void of atmosphere (even “Hoover” boasts an formless, sound-collage intro). Instead, each track is propulsive and entrancing, boasting ethereal soundscapes and hypnotic lyrics that favor sonic cohesion over comprehensibility.

Even at its most grating (“Shawty”) and least engaging (“Fire”), Warlord maintains a mesmerizing aesthetic that’s as inviting as it is uncompromising. As such, it provides an immersive experience that’s worth indulging in. “Warlord” might not offer the lyrical complexity or masterful sampling that is expected out of hip-hop, but its spellbinding tracks form a sonic world worth exploring all the same.



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user ratings (146)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
davidwave4 (2.5)
Warlord boasts a newly engaged and attentive Lean, but does little to fix Lean's glaring problems....


Comments:Add a Comment 
RoundOnEndHiInMiddle
October 25th 2016


898 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

v good. deluxe version of this is even better

hal1ax
October 25th 2016


11756 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet review mane. pos

and ya bonus tracks are so good. pearl fountain is goat

hal1ax
October 25th 2016


11756 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice man. pearl fountain is mine as well, along with eye contact.

dimeadozenmetalhead6
October 25th 2016


285 Comments


"Hip-hop is by nature a lyrics-centric genre."
lol

50iL
October 26th 2016


4890 Comments


Nice review, pos'd! I have to give this a spineroo

Digging: Fela Kuti - Gentleman

dimeadozenmetalhead6
October 26th 2016


285 Comments


"of all the hyperbolic statements out there, that's a pretty safe one"
maybe before 2000

oltnabrick
October 26th 2016


36192 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wtf is this review

Digging: Tomb Mold - Cerulean Salvation

dimeadozenmetalhead6
October 26th 2016


285 Comments


idk

dimeadozenmetalhead6
October 26th 2016


285 Comments


that's probably a euphemism for retarded, but w/e

dimeadozenmetalhead6
October 27th 2016


285 Comments


lol

TVC15
December 7th 2016


9817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

From a 3.5 to a 2.5 huh

Digging: Therapy? - Infernal Love

Jasdevi087
December 7th 2016


5352 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

how can he go meme free tho if he is the meme?

guitarded_chuck
December 7th 2016


16513 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ez aoty

oltnabrick
December 7th 2016


36192 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

he hasnt had that meme stuff since kyoto

oltnabrick
December 7th 2016


36192 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

and chuck u should check bladee's new one cause its like this but better

oltnabrick
December 7th 2016


36192 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

stfu aint no one ask u

oltnabrick
December 7th 2016


36192 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

dont matter if its shit LMAO

FullOfSounds
December 7th 2016


15764 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

leave toad alone

oltnabrick
December 7th 2016


36192 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thats what im saying

FullOfSounds
December 7th 2016


15764 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

gonna check this if it's similar to eversince



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