Dave — PSYCHODRAMA ANALYSIS & REVIEW
Strong delivery of emotion? Check. Thoughtful, heartfelt themes? Check. Good meta communication and organization? Definitely check. Surrounded by an enriching musical substance with which to take all of these strengths to a new level, as the artistic medium attempts to do? Eh, not so much.
I’m not saying this went so far as to have the premise necessarily overshadow the artistic execution, as the music was still done with care and nothing was ever offensively bad or completely tedious. What I will say, though, is that a piece of music can never be truly great when its greatest triumph has nothing to do with the elements of the actual medium. This album represents a valiant effort to pair music with a very riveting personal journey through one’s mental health that has very relatable facets, however, an attempt at “pairing” was all it was. These were two separate art forms, and frankly, two separate talent levels trying to present the art in the more lucrative medium. In the end, the more intangible and magical side, that being the music itself, did not quite match the lofty goal it set.
That’s not to say there weren’t enjoyable moments. Like I said, this was created with lots of care and attempt at well-layered communication. While no song had an all-around knockout from background and foreground, most every song had at least one musical idea to latch onto and take the listener through with a dose of enjoyment. The bare, spacious timbre stayed pretty even keel, not giving any bright spots of instrumental beauty, yet never being too distracting.
The sound was a bit underwhelming given the heavy humanistic emotion attached to the voice, as there was rarely any major development done alongside the vocals. Most tracks stuck to a prescribed drum beat, a single synth layer, and sameness in vocal effect throughout. With that lack of instrumental or textural variance, it was actually a bit surprising how agreeable it came across, which was mostly due to the pleasing synth qualities themselves and the room they had to breathe. In the grand scope of things, though, it wasn’t terribly convincing.
The album’s strongest, most personable musical feature also happened to be the biggest hinderance as well, which was Dave’s style of rap. In short, it was good enough to warrant attention and tell these stories without boredom, but never good enough to fully encapsulate the listener into the story or have any replay value. He was better than the average soundcloud rapper, but nowhere close to the greats. The obvious missing ingredient was syncopation. It’s certainly not a prerequisite to incorporate rhythmic syncopation as a rapper, but in this particular setting where nothing else but the voice is really hitting the listener with a feeling of force, that’s the element that seemed most noticeably lacking. He had flow, he wrote strong rhymes, he had passionate delivery, but he didn’t have the crucial variance in rhythmic density or metric accents to use this medium to its fullest potential.
If all you’re looking for is a great personal story told in a modern musical way, then sure, this is it. It has a good backbone, but that’s pretty much it. It doesn’t do enough in the pockets of material that should’ve actually been selling the music — rap style, background beat, sonic atmosphere, to name a few. I admire the effort, but it’s nothing remarkable. It’s a very middle of the road feel.