Skrillex
Don’t Get Too Close


2.5
average

Review

by Dakota West Foss STAFF
February 19th, 2023 | 46 replies


Release Date: 02/18/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Alright, alright, alright

By the time the first season of True Detective rolled around, the McConnaissance was already in full swing. Known mostly for being a braindead hunk who had once uttered the legendary phrase of “alright, alright, alright”, Matthew McConaughey had successfully steered his career into more acclaimed and respected waters by brute forcing his way into acting roles that were about as close to a one-eighty as you could get. These days, the actor’s mostly tied with potential political runs and whisky ads overwrought with existential musings, with his rom-com stature becoming a relic of a bygone era and any evidence left of such becoming a knowing wink and nudge punchline for those old enough to remember.

Sonny Moore AKA Skrillex is currently going through a similar reinvention and also unfortunately linked to Jordan Peterson. Where once he made the sonic equivalent of smashing t-rex and Power Ranger action figures together, the producer has been quietly setting up the chess pieces to have his name held in higher esteem and be seen as Real Music. While he has been drip-feeding singles on and off the last few years, Quest for Fire and Don’t Get Too Close mark the formal full-throated proclamation that the old Skrillex can’t come to the phone right now because he’s dead -complete with a different haircut! To anyone remotely paying attention for the last half-decade or so, it may seem a bit old hat to notice that Sonny isn’t the dial-up internet dispenser that he had been mocked for when he brought that sound to the mainstream, but this pair of albums serves as a convenient reintroduction to his harsher critics or those that are finally okay with admitting to themselves that electronic dance music is kinda fun and cool thanks to more acceptable acts like Fred Again and Disclosure bridging the gap between The Nerds and The Nerd Nots.

On the ground of proving evolution, it’s hard to call this massive twenty-seven song dump between both albums anything but a success. The Skrillex name can now be associated with a whole host of different sounds and genre and, if nothing else, be held up as impressive feats of sound engineering in the same way you can’t really fault the way that James Cameron’s Avatar series looks. It will be hard to separate the two albums from each other, but Quest for Fire is undeniably the more successful collection, given that it seems more content to flex its command of more respectable genres and was smartly released first with surely one of the most gorgeous covers that will grace albums this year.

Don’t Get Too Close is not a massive step down by any stretch, but it is the more confounding of the two. For one, there’s the awful cover art that seems to pay homage to the days of a dickless Crazy Frog, but that is really all that needs to be said about that. Across its twelve tracks are some genuinely impressive, forward thinking pieces like the collaborations with Yung Lean and Bladee on “Ceremony” and “Real Spring” or the genuinely affecting title track, but the experience as a whole sadly seems content to wallow somewhere more in the middle. It’s clear that Sonny wanted to stick the obvious radio hits on a project away from the more adventurous cuts on Quest for Fire given that the agonizing “Bad For Me” and “Don’t Go” exist in perfect, uh, competence? and with none of the artistic growth that he has demonstrated elsewhere. Sure, there are no banshee screeches from yesteryear but these two songs turn his newfound restraint into a full-on lack of effort and seem to exist more as a way to guarantee sales and a subtle brag to remind everyone just how impressive the names in his contact list can be - and they are impressive. Anyone who denies just how crazy it is that Cheif Keef and Anthony Green are unflinchingly on the same album and it is not a total disaster is a straight up liar.

Ultimately Don’t Get Too Close is an album whose success changes on the angle it is being perceived. As an artistic statement, it stumbles much more than its sister album despite some strong strong songs and genuinely cool connective tissue that conjoin the two. As a reinforcement that the new Skrillex is, in fact, a different breed than the Skrillex of yore, it succeeds -even if it’s mostly a pale echo of Quest For Fire due to the obvious and boring -and maybe necessary- radio hits. It is somewhat of a shame that neither release is a slam-dunk triumph in their own right, but being a massive solo song dump after nearly a decade away is stacking the deck against that outcome. The newfound restraint and sharpening of focus on an individual song level shows that Skrillex may yet be capable of doing the same for an entire album in the future. For now, Sonny has done enough to show that the Skrillex brand has at least upgraded to broadband internet.



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user ratings (59)
2.4
average


Comments:Add a Comment 
Odal
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2023


1981 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Suggestions/criticisms welcome as always. I really enjoyed this one when it dropped last night, but each subsequent listen has shown the cracks a little more. I am super excited for this reinvention of Skrillex, and what may come in the future

kodama
February 19th 2023


185 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

the most 2.5 album to ever 2.5.



Good review.

Tundra
February 19th 2023


9623 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

boring as all hell, when you see a Swae Lee feature you know it's gonna be standard modern pop drivel

Odal
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2023


1981 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I like Swae Lee's voice but he has been on a pretty bad dry spell lol

Spec
February 19th 2023


39383 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Was having the “what ever happened to skrillex” conversation a week ago and BOOM. ALBUM.

Odal
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2023


1981 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

He's really been pretty active, but was more content taking a backseat for others until recently. I really do think he is one of the best producers out there, it's just a shame he can't seem to make an honest-to-god album. I think Quest For Fire is a great start though

MantisTobogganMD
February 20th 2023


122 Comments


Love the Jordan Peterson shout out

PumpBoffBag
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2023


1530 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I lowkey miss the beep-boop wubwubwub Skrillex. Quality review, not listened to this one yet though.

StonedManatee
February 20th 2023


543 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Fuck Jordan Peterson!!! I hope he gets devoured by a dugong.

InfernalDeity
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2023


597 Comments


Dugongs are so much cooler than manatees

rabidfish
February 20th 2023


8690 Comments


the lean and bladee song is aight

PotsyTater
February 21st 2023


10101 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This is by far the best thing skrillex has ever done

Ryus
February 21st 2023


36579 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the other new album was even better

DocSportello
February 21st 2023


3367 Comments


This one’s okay the other new one is troublingly aight

PotsyTater
February 21st 2023


10101 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Im listening to the other one and it’s shit so far but I’m only two songs in. But I know that four tet song kinda fucks

DocSportello
February 21st 2023


3367 Comments


I mean I figure I’m being a little generous by 3.5ing any skrillex album in this economy and I still have ptsd from living in a frat house 2010-2013 but idk for all its flaws and shortcomings i actually feel like skrillex is giving a shit and can’t lie I’m returning to these tracks a lot this week

PotsyTater
February 21st 2023


10101 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I will say that if I was munted out of my fucking tree at a rave Quest For Fire would be a fun ass time but it is still just a competent take at a defaultly harebrained genre





This one’s hilarious tho

DocSportello
February 21st 2023


3367 Comments


Yes exactly let’s see what this guy can do to salvage the mess he’s made

Sharenge
February 21st 2023


5064 Comments


cute hedgehog

does he kill?

PotsyTater
February 21st 2023


10101 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

“Yes exactly let’s see what this guy can do to salvage the mess he’s made”



Lmao word



There are some (RELATIVELY) tasteful and compelling nuances to some of these tracks (Quest for Fire), I wish he reeled it in and tightened it up even further, he could really just completely abandon the generic hype shit and his music would be better off. There’s an alternate timeline out there where you could almost take skrillex seriously



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