December album reviews


McKenzie Barner and Luka Komives

Pluto x Baby Pluto

Rating: 4/10

By Luka Komives

I had a choice. I could listen to this album or go to sleep. I chose wrong.

Future and Lil Uzi Vert’s newest collaboration, “Pluto x Baby Pluto” (2020), is meant to serve as a victory lap for the two artists’ success in their trap-rap niche over the past year. Unfortunately, what resulted from an already-mediocre concept is a disappointment to say the least.

The record contains no themes or major takeaways, leaving you with only a headache. It seems they think they can put out anything they want and it’ll make numbers. They know they’ve already made it to the top, and maybe their passion to create the good music that made them famous is gone. I’m worried that this album is just the beginning of a recurring theme we’ll be seeing from the two artists moving forward. 

The production on this project is terrific though, and is the one good thing the album brings to the table. It’s the only reason Pluto x Baby Pluto is somewhat listenable. Forget the vocals, if you hear this album playing in another room you’ll definitely like it and maybe gravitate toward it. Like “DS2” and “Luv is Rage,” the sounds presented here are very well thought-out and crafted, and it’s clear that there was an emphasis on making this album as sonically pleasing as possible. 

But what really makes this album so disappointing and so painful to listen to is that “Pluto” sounds exactly the same as “Baby Pluto.” No matter how good the instrumental is, they continuously end up drowning out each other’s vocals. This happens so often that it results in it being impossible to differentiate one song from the others. It makes me wonder why they decided to collaborate in the first place. You’d think they’d know their sound well enough to know that making 16 songs together would just end up as a jumbled mess of autotune and ad-libs. 

I did remember one song from the album though: “A Moment of Clarity”—the last track. I actually laughed at the title. The only moment of clarity I had was when it was all finally over and I could sleep.


Man On The Moon III: The Chosen

Rating: 9/10

By McKenzie Barner

Man On The Moon III: The Chosen is the third installment of the Man On The Moon album trilogy that was released on December 11, 2020. This 18 track album consists of features from Pop Smoke, Skepta, Trippie Redd and singer Phoebe Bridgers. Songs like “The Void”, ”Elsie’s Baby Boy”, and  “Sept.16”, are dark and melodic, feeling reminiscent of songs from past albums and incorporate experimental sounds from genres like alternative rock and “neo-psychadelia.” However, “Show Out” and “Damaged” are more upbeat and are a reflection of popular rap music today. With somber lyrics such as “Close call, life on the edge, Ahh, when the time comes, I’ll find peace, Still in search of, nights, I’m sittin’ wishin’, I can find love in me,” Cudi reflects on his deepest thoughts and urges himself to find inner peace, despite battling with his mental health. Man On The Moon III: The Chosen gives a deeper look into Cudi’s life journey for the past 10 years as he fluctuates from highs and lows. Overall, the album is cohesive and with futuristic sounds, deep lyrics and strong features, it is a great album to get lost in.