Review Summary: *Mumbles incoherently*
Figuring out how to approach an album with one good song is challenging. I’m generally not one to skip tracks; I feel that an album should be experienced blemishes and all. But when I think of whether “to skip or not to skip,” I think of an album with three to four so-so tracks. Luv is Rage 2
has 15 so-so tracks. The only great song - "XO TOUR Llif3" -is the final track. "XO" is catchy, it’s smooth, it’s a banger, but is it worth sitting through 15 other tracks of Uzi’s undefined, uneven, sloppy, amateur delivery" Is it even safe to say I’m even listening to an album when I skip the first 15 tracks" And so it becomes difficult reviewing an album with one good song. If the song is a 4.5/5, and the rest of the album is a ⅖, what does that average out to" How does one weight one great song against 15 terrible ones"
"XO" is a certified banger, with its maudlin, off kilter arpeggiated beat, and its shade of melancholy is a tantalizing way of preventing it from being a garden variety club track. Uzi actually sounds inspired when he’s belting “xany take the pain away,” and “I’m committed not addicted but it keeps the pain away.” Everything about the song clicks, even the peak mumble action at the end of the second chorus “ALL MY FRIENDS ARE DEAD-AH RUNIRINAREAH.” Uzi sounds like he’s melting into the track with his autotuned slurs, and the whole track feels like coming down from Xanax. But the rest of the album fails in every way "XO" succeeds.
On Luv is Rage 2
, Uzi implements a wide variety of voices and styles. Best known for his polarizing mostly ad-libbed performance on Migos’ number one hit "Bad and Boujee," Vert has been hitting the mixtapes for a number of years, and his influence is strongly felt with the current crop of freshman rappers coming out right now. Uzi’s style works on a track like "Bad and Boujee" because his amateurish ad-libbing contrasts Migos’ very tight and focused delivery. Uzi is like a child with no attention span at a zoo, gawking at every animal exhibit for five seconds before moving on to the next one. Fascinated by each animal, but never taking the time to really appreciate any of them. Uzi adopts so many voices/personas on Luv,
listening to it becomes a comical game of double checking that it is in fact Uzi and not a feature. The only connective tissue is Uzi’s mumbling and his repetitive "Fuck bitches get money” lyrics. Lil Uzi must have been conscious that a general audience would not be able to tolerate his banshee wails through a 56-minute run-time because he tries emulating every rap style under the sun.
It’s unclear why Uzi didn’t make a whole album of songs like "XO TOUR Llif3." He seems to have no awareness when it comes to what makes him good and what makes him bad. And it’s a real shame because he has the potential to make competent music. Most tracks revolve around repeating a word or string of words ad-nauseum. Regarding "Early 20 Rager"--the worst song of the year-- Uzi admits it’s not actually a song, “its When the Molly hits” which is either a genuine sentiment and quite sad, or it’s an appeal to the lowest common denominator that’s likely to digest this record, which is also sad. A lot of tracks start off OK, but his flow and style are so unfocused and muddled the songs become a chore to sit through. Vert will come in strong, but then devolve into yelping “I got R&B singers” 100 times in a row. I’d like to think "XO" isn’t a fluke, but as it stands right now, Lil Uzi Vert only has one inspired and focused song. So how do I rate an album with only one great track" I begrudgingly and shamefully smash that motherfucking three out of five.