Review Summary: Yeah, I wonder why
I have always sucked at drawing. No matter how much time I spend on a drawing of anything realistic, it’ll turn out looking like absolute garbage. When I got forced into taking drawing classes in high school, I fought my way through by solely handing in ‘abstract’ works of art, since I was self aware of the fact that I couldn’t picture a realistic goat to save my life. Now, take this story, and imagine rapper Dying in Designer is me, and his music the realistic goat that would have turned out looking like a genetically modified cross between a demon and a platypus. It’s not pretty.
This beautiful analogy shows the main problem with Dying in Designer, real name Bobby O’Brien; a severe lack of self awareness. The Hopeless Record artist’s debut album Nobody’s Happy
kicks off with the single ‘Pull It’, immediately showcasing the fact that O’Brien… can’t rap. Sure, he can semi-melodically say some nonsense over a decent beat the same way I have the ability to trace a line over a piece of paper, but that does not mean his vocals are pleasant to listen to in any way. To make matters worse, the lyrical content throughout the record is absolutely dreadful. O’Brien managed to fit the word ‘***’ into the aforementioned single a grand total of 25 times, with the delightful chorus telling us that: “Trash my room, I don’t give a *** / Crash my car, I don’t give a *** / *** your friends, I don’t give a *** / *** it all, I don’t give a ***”
. It’s almost like he doesn’t give a ***!
Dying in Designer is obviously tapping into the post-Lil Peep wave of emo rappers, with songs like ‘Lately’, ‘Devil’s Callin’ and ‘PTSD’ (each of which released as a single prior to the album) featuring guitar lines reminiscent of artists such as nothing,nowhere. However, as opposed to that particular artist, it’s almost like O’Brien, in his own words, doesn’t give a ***. Every bit of live instrumentation feels tacked on, as if one of the many producers that worked on the album threw a royalty free sample into the mix because like, you know, it sounds kinda cool I guess. This sums up all instrumentation on Nobody’s Happy
. Some beats are decent, but absolutely ruined by O’Brien’s obnoxious vocals. Some guitars sound somewhat pretty, but end up feeling absolutely forced and unnecessary, and, shocker, ruined by O’Brien’s vocals.
As awful as the music on Dying in Designer’s debut album might be, the lyrical content is dreadful to a whole new extent. Besides having the ability to say the word ‘***’ a lot, the wordsmith has some more tricks up his sleeve. He spends the majority of the record murmering on about how he wants to die, which obviously is not a good thing; no one should feel like that. However, the words surrounding every ‘I want to die’ are insanely shallow. On ‘Hopeless Romantic’, O’Brien wants to bleed out because a girl tested his patience. On ‘Highs’, O’Brien feels like dying because… well, who knows. On the track, he wonders “why’d you make that choice / that put us in this ***ing place？”
without ever explaining what this choice entailed or in what place they ended up, making for some intensely vapid lyrical content. The only song on Nobody’s Happy
that’s worth something is penultimate track ‘Worth’, primarily due to O’Brien finally opening up some more: “she had me a pill, she told me take it / just focus on the sex, forget about your ex”
. On top of this, the instrumentation actually packs a surprising punch.
However, one decent song does not come close to making up for an absolutely awful record. If Dying in Designer has musical talent, it’s nowhere to be found on this album. The rapper is in desperate need of some self awareness, and if he finds it, perhaps his next record will be a solid abstract ambient project. Until then, and it’s a cheap shot; Nobody’s Happy.