So, I actually didn’t know a lot about Watsky before I started this article. I knew he could rap, and I knew he could rap fast, and I knew he got his start on YouTube, but that’s about it. What I didn’t know was that he’s already released four albums and has appeared on Arrested Development. Huh. Anyway, his latest album is All You Can Do, and all I can do is review it track-by-track. Let’s begin.
1. ALL YOU CAN DO ft. Jimetta Rose
This one’s pretty good. Watsky raps about his aspirations in the first verse, then spends the second verse talking about an incident at the Warped Tour in London wherein he jumped off a lighting fixture above the stage. The chorus by Jimetta Rose is fine, but ultimately serves more as a segue between verses than anything of substance. “All you can do is…” what? The splits? B-.
2. STAND FOR SOMETHING ft. Anderson Paak
In this song, Watsky talks about how he’s sticking to his roots despite his newfound fame and fortune. It’s pretty funny, pretty catchy, and very fast, although the guest chorus once again feels a bit unnecessary. B.
3. BET AGAINST ME
This one is a short and concise brag rap with a building guitar riff and some more clever lines from Watsky. This one feels a bit more to-the-point than the previous two, although he still seems to struggle with filling up three minutes of material. Still, I give it a B.
4. WHOA WHOA WHOA
DAMN. That came out of nowhere. This is some Eminem shit, seriously. Watsky has described this song as “verbal flexing,” meant simply to prove that he could do this kind of shit whenever he wanted. Definitely an excellent song. A.
5. INK DON’T BLEED
This song’s about… something, I’m sure. C+.
6. RIGHT NOW ft. Lisa Vitale
This one is about living in the present! Although, the verses seem to be mainly about the past… B-.
7. MY FIRST STALKER
This is a shorter, more personal song about… well, Watsky’s first stalker. It’s a pretty good song, but when I say “shorter,” I mean A MINUTE AND A HALF. Watsky seems to have trouble making standard-length songs. As such, we never learn much about the girl, or about what happened after he dumped her. B-.
8. THE ONE
In this song, Watsky states his feelings on relationships. A) Everyone’s in them. B) Everyone works way too hard to be in them. C) “The one” doesn’t exist. D) Maybe someday, he’ll find the right girl for him. Which would be… the one, wouldn’t it? B+.
9. BOOMERANG ft. Ariana DeBoo
This one’s about an on-again-off-again relationship. It kinda sucks. C.
10. LET’S GET HIGH AND WATCH PLANET EARTH
11. HAND OVER HAND ft. Anderson Paak
This is another one that I didn’t quite understand, but from what I got, it seems to be talking about the fact that people always talk about the troubles in the world, but don’t actually do anything about it. That’s an interesting topic, and there’s definitely some good metaphors in this song, although it does seem a bit preachy and once again, it’s sort of hard to follow. B.
12. TEARS TO DIAMONDS ft. Raquel Rodriguez
As I was listening to this song, my first thought was, “OK, this is a bit bullshit.” However, Watsky does make some pretty good points in this song, as well as in the annotations he wrote on Rap Genius. This is basically a song against the pharmaceutical industry. Not against the pharmaceuticals themselves, as he points out in his second verse, just against the industry. It’s certainly an interesting and passionate song, topped off with the first decent chorus on the whole album, courtesy of Raquel Rodriguez. A-.
13. GRASS IS GREENER
This one is about someone who is in a hospital whom Watsky cares about. It’s certainly passionate, but the lyrics are a bit… eh. C+.
14. NEVER LET IT DIE ft. Anderson Paak and Kush Mody
This is a motivational song about getting back up when you get knocked down and how that’s helped Watsky in his life. The rhyme scheme is pretty great, as are the lyrics. Once again though, the chorus makes no sense. The song ends off with a poem about the plight of the Jews after World War II and how it serves as a metaphor for life itself. Nice. A-.
15. SARAJEVO ft. Dia Frampton
This is an interesting one. It tells the story of a Muslim and a Christian who are in love and are both killed during the Bosnian Civil War. Watsky says that the song is about the “transcendental power of love,” which is an excellent topic to write a song about in and of itself, but I love how they base it around a true (?) story. The chorus is sung by Voice runner-up Dia Frampton, who does an excellent job tying the verses together with her passionate vocals and the line “God is love and love is all we have.” A.
16. CANNONBALL ft. Stephen Stills
That’s right. STEPHEN FUCKING STILLS. Pretty unexpected, I must say. He does a fine job, I suppose, but still. Stephen fucking Stills. Anyway, the song. It’s actually just a slam poem with a Stephen Stills chorus on either end. It’s a good poem though, I suppose. B-.
So yeah, this was a pretty good album. I don’t think I’d listen to it again, but I enjoyed it. Overall, I’d give it a solid B. Watsky’s got skills, but he never seems to harness his full potential (except on “Whoa Whoa Whoa” I mean wow). Coming up: reviews of Let’s Be Cops and either The Giver or Expendables 3, whichever I decide to see. Actually, I’ll probably see Giver anyway. Whatever. I’m also thinking of doing a list of every Eminem pun EVER. Wouldja like that? Like if you like, follow if you follow, leave a comment down below if you’ve got something to say, don’t forget to check out my Twitter @BreakingPOORLY, and as always…
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