Album Reviews

Gold Link-And After That, We Didn’t Talk [review]

Why we born to be poor? Why our fathers be gone? Why my father forsake us? Why my momma so strong?

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First off, I would like to apologize for my absence. Life is demanding for a semi-serious struggle blogger who is navigating through adult life. I promise to never leave you again. I’ll do better. I’ll try not to be washed from here on out. 
Sincerely, Ron.

 

GoldLink is a DMV rapper who made waves through the blogosphere after appearing on the XXL freshman cover. I, like many others, asked “Who!?”. Clearly someone paid XXL’s staff to get this unknown rapper on the cover. Well, we were all wrong. While this is only his second release ever, he has someone managed to craft a sound that has captured the attention of Rick Rubin and Andre 3000.

In some circles, I’m sure his inaugural mixtape God Complex was gold_linklooked at as a gimmick. He’s rapping over house music. How could he possibly top that? Does this style have longevity?

Well And After That, We Didn’t Talk answers all of those questions. While sonically, it’s the same style, there’s way more than just dance music here. GoldLink manages to get the listener dancing while dropping some serious introspective anecdotes right under your nose.

This album plays out like a season of The Wonder Years. It’s a tale of a guy misguided young man experiencing conflict and love lost. Boy gets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy sleeps with girl’s best friend. Boy secretly wants to shoot girl’s new boyfriend.

That’s what happened in the show, right? No? Ok.

Anyway, what I enjoyed so much about this album is the diversity of sounds. If someone were to ask “What does this album sound like?” you’d be hard pressed to answer that question in one sentence. While Goldlink  stays true to house music vibe of his debut mixtape, throws in a few new wrinkles. No two songs on this album sound alike, yet they all mesh to make one cohesive album.

The perfect example is one of the album’s standout tracks, “Dark Skinned Women”.

While Goldlink isn’t the world’s greatest lyricist, his flow is what made me a fan. And even though I knew he could sing, he sings a LOT on this album. And sings well.

(PS. Shoutout to Alina)

When assessing albums, “Quality over quantity” are words to live by for me. I don’t need to dig through an album that has 30 tracks only to find 14 songs I like. Thank God for this album’s brevity. Clocking in at 11 tracks and roughly 35 minutes, that’s all we need! Get to the point! And this album makes its point without wasting a single second.

Also, I can’t seriously think of one song on this album I flat out dislike. Each song flows into each other nicely and there’s no misplaced song. There’s no forced single that seems like it was added just to get people to purchase the album. This album was greatly composed from top to bottom. Spectrum-Dance on Me-Late Night might easily be the strongest album transition of the year.

To wrap this up, I’m quite impressed with this album. The God Complex was simply just a fun mixtape. This album is quite introspective while still maintaining the same vibe. It’s a tale of someone coping with new-found fame and losing meaningful connections but it manages to be pleasurable.

The album begins like it ends with the words “repeat” and if you do you hear music in a car then a loud crash. I’d like to think this moment is the “that” of the album’s title. Does he ever get the girl back? The title implies that the answer is no. Does he miss her? The last song on the album implies that the answer is yes.

As Goldlink matures in his life, I hope his music continues to as well. Solid debut from a rapper I knew nothing about only five months ago.

 

Grade: 4.25-5

Easily one of my favorite albums of the year.

If you’re still looking for a reason to check this album out, it samples the most fire Missy Elliot verse ever.

 

 

 

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