- Summary: The debut full-length release for the French trap producer features guest appearances from such artists as Justin Bieber, Bipolar Sunshine, Jeremih, Migos, Mr Hudson, Travis Scott, Skrillex, Swizz Beatz, and Young Thug.
- Record Label: Interscope
- Genre(s): Electronic, Rap, Club/Dance
- More Details and Credits »
|Staring at two different views on your window ledge Coffee is going cold, it's like time froze There you go wishing, floating down our wishing...||See the rest of the song lyrics|
Positive: 0 out of 1
Mixed: 1 out of 1
Negative: 0 out of 1
Aug 24, 2016French electronic artist DJ Snake is well known in the EDM scene for being either involved in or producing some of the most enormous,French electronic artist DJ Snake is well known in the EDM scene for being either involved in or producing some of the most enormous, gargantuan dance hits over the past few years. Lean On, Turn Down For What and Low to name a few. Lean On was the most streamed song on Spotify last year, amassing over five hundred million listens that year alone. This is an eye-watering figure, so there is no question that the guy thrives on producing at the forefront of the EDM scene. The fact that his material is mostly centred around what is popular further supports this claim. A sugary pop artist equivalent.
This year he went and released his debut album entitled Encore. There's over fifty minutes of content on it, which is pretty long for EDM. Anyhow, I decided to wrap my ears around it to see what the hype was all about.
The record is bundled with a multitude of genres - which is as expected. The cuts are dominated by trap and house, but a slew of other subgenres like moombahton and hardstyle make it onto the record as well. From a business perspective, it seems reasonable to have a wide spectrum of EDM fuelled with meaty hooks. Such is the "raise your hands" festival culture today, and Snake's record remains no exception of that. Even with the financial incentives however, that doesn't mean the record is immune from criticism.
The opening track is perhaps the most interesting of the lot. An atmospheric interlude with some swishy vocals and washy synthesized chords floating around the piece. It is quite soothing and pleasant actually. It is a shame that this thread of quality doesn't circulate around the rest of the record.
There are deplorable aesthetics on tracks like Pigalle and Sahara; the incredibly brash, abject, haywire drops with hugely contrasting verses between them make these tracks auditory heaps of junk. It's unfortunate since the vocals on Sahara are nice. Ocho Cinco isn't impressive either. The introduction is less than plausible and the hardstyle beat woven at the beginning of the drops are monstrously chaotic, obnoxious and unequivocally horrible. But I will admit that the second half of the drop is much more acceptable.
There are also cuts on the record that leave me feeling indifferent. Nothing special about Oh Me Oh My. Sober had potential but the (sometimes cringy) vocals do not fit the instrumentation well.
However, there are some good tracks on the album that I do like. Propaganda - which kicks off with an awful introduction - has drops that are lifted by this compelling, fluttering synth with a gummy 808 bass that underpins the rest of the instrumentation nicely. A good cut that is also refreshing as there are no vocalists on it. The closing track Here Comes The Light highlights the impressive technicality of Snake's production (future bass), but there is a vocalist on this one who sounds half-baked.
Tracks that are driven by the pitch-changing, vocal melody craze that has taken the EDM scene by storm recently, are mostly successful. Talk, Let Me Love You and Middle all fall within this boundary. Bieber has picked up an appetite for tropical house tracks recently so his good vocal performance on Let Me Love You was anticipated, but the drop sounds like a weaker version of Lean On yesteryear - slightly underwhelming. Talk features Maple's vocal, pitch-shifting melodies that are cheery, engaging and fun to my ears. Middle is the best cut on the entire record. Released some time ago, Bipolar's vocals and the instrumentation on it are seriously infectious - an earwig that's pleasing to the ear. This follows on to Future Pt. 2, which is more laidback but nonetheless pretty good. Though there's nothing incredible going on here, Snake succeeds with making good, catchy, simple pop music.
I am pleased to say that this is not a disastrous record. But as expected, the album format simply doesn't cater to Snake's strengths. The record suffers from being predictably cluttered with tracks that have incredibly contrasting - and often mismatched - chord progressions between the verses and choruses. There is a very thin ribbon of cohesion across Encore, and the vocals across the record are a hit and miss (mostly the latter). These problems are typical with sugary EDM albums.
It is far from perfect, but Snake has some potential in what he is doing so it is disheartening to hear that this will be his first and last album. If he made it more focused, got better vocalists in the studio, got more inventive with his production then I see no reason why it wouldn't have been a good album. As it stands, the record is bombarded with inconsistencies.
If your teeth are sunk into the festival culture of EDM nowadays then you stand a good chance of enjoying this album. If you hate the culture, this record is certainly not for you, as it will probably make you loathe the culture even more. I am personally split in the middle with this scene, and that mirrors how I feel about Encore.
A mediocre record, DJ Snake.… Expand
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