Review Summary: A collection of soothing, yet unfinished, surface level songs.
Xxxtentacion has adopted a sort of Jekyll and Hyde persona throughout his music. Whereas on one song, he may be viciously barking atop characteristically bass-boosted trap instrumentals, glorifying violent activity and drug abuse (see: 'Look at Me!,' 'Rip Roach'), another may see him adopting a loftier, spacious tone as he mumbles and sloppily sings through lyrics consisting of lovesick tripe ('I Don't Wanna Do This Anymore'). On 17
, xxxtentacion implements only the latter, and the infamous soundcloud rapper's debut album is all the worse for it.
The epicenter of every problem is that the album seems undeniably unfinished. The meager 22 minute run time for 11 tracks spells disaster, however xxxtentacion could have still delivered a brief yet concise album. The downfall, however, is the allocation of time within the album is poorly executed. xxxtentacion is too content with letting airy instrumentals take over for half of songs without any vocal input, thus leading to an overarching feeling of incompletion. The consistent brevity of songs and lack of musical progression is aurally similar to a collection of interludes as opposed to a full album. If the track "Dead Inside (Interlude)" didn't blatantly state what it was, there is almost no distinguishable difference between said interlude and any other song on the album. There is a skeletal structure for a good album within 17
, but with no flesh the final results retains a looming sense of unintentional hollowness.
Whilst the songs may be brief, they are quite pleasant on the ears. 17
is a relaxing album teeming with airy and lofty beats overtop of xxxtentacion's surprisingly solid singing. However, xxxtentacion is also too complacent with adding a singular chorus and potentially a rap verse. Rarely throughout the duration of 17
does he flesh out an entire with even a rudimentary song structure. Several songs such as "Everybody Dies In Their Nightmares" possess strong positive qualities, unfortunately, the extremely solid base for most songs ends before any untapped potential can be built upon. xxxtentacion's voice and lyrics are inoffensive, but they lack any sort of weight as he seemingly rambles on about emotional jargon. In essence, there are bits and pieces of good ideas scattered around the album, but xxxtentacion seemingly refuses to build upon any of said ideas as the track ends as quickly as it began.
is the musical equivalent of an artist painting a mural of a flower and stopping half way through. The painting is admittedly pretty, there are some well-detailed petals, but the painting is unfinished, lacking any deeper meaning, and ultimately forgettable. The loud, abrasive Hyde is gone and the Jekyll, while inoffensive, isn't very interesting.