Album Reviews Music The Listening Club [Album Review]

The Listening Club: Goldlink – At What Cost [Review]

What keeps me sharp is surrounding myself with a group of like-minded, yet diverse individuals. The staff of The Kids Wear Crowns all have different tastes although we share the general overarching interests. This helps to bounce around ideas and different viewpoints. I think it also provides you, the reader, with opportunities to be hipped to new things.

So I came up with the idea of an album club. We all listen to different types of music, and I noticed there are a lot of albums that are never on my radar until “Album of the Year” time. So with this idea, we can at least be knowledgeable of all the great music being released.

So let me explain how this all works:

  1. A member of The KWC blog will bring an album/mixtape to other members
  2. After that recommendation, all other members will listen to this album
  3. We’ll type up a “first impressions” review. Won’t go in depth, because this is following the book club format
  4. We’ll score the album based on two things:
    1. Did you like it?
    2. Would you recommend?


So our first review will be Goldlink-At What Cost


Ebony’s Take

This album to me does have a late 70’s, early 80s summer time feel to me…but its not really good. To me, it sounds like he had one of those Casio keyboards with all the pre-arranged samples on it and he used those and rapped over it. This sound or album doesn’t fit anywhere to me. I tried listening to it while I was driving, showering, and working out and it just doesn’t have a place.

Standout tracks:

  • Same Clothes as Yesterday
  • Herside Story
  • Meditation

Least Favorite Tracks:

  • The rest of the songs on this album

Score: 1.75/5

Sky’s Take

This was my first time listening to a GoldLink album and I must say I’m disappointed. I listened while getting ready to go out one night and it messed my whole swag up. Don’t get me wrong GoldLink is a dope artist. I was introduced to him by the song “Zipporah”, which is phenomenal, so I’m thinking I’m about to hear an album along those lines. WRONG! WRONG! Charlie Murphy voice. I’m good on this. Maybe next time.

Standout tracks:

  • Crew
  • We Will Never Die

Least Favorite Tracks:

  • The Other 12 Tracks

Score: 1.5/5

AJ’s Take

I was disappointed by this album, mostly because I felt like the first two songs were lying to me.  After the intro, the first two songs have a dope vibe and the albums kind of falls off from there. Not only that, but Goldlink sounds almost identical to Isaiah Rashad in rapping style and while I don’t begrudge artists for sounding like their influences, it’s a lot harder to like that when it’s a fairly new artist. Overall the album is meh. Not trash but I probably won’t listen to it ever again.

Standout Tracks

  • Same Clothes as Yesterday
  • Have You Seen That Girl?
  • Summatime

Least Favorite Tracks

  • Everything else

Score: 3/5

Ron’s Take

Yikes. Tough crowd out there tonight. This album was my recommendation so it’s going swell so far, as you can see.

When I’m listening to an album, I want to know who the artist is and what they’re trying to tell me. This doesn’t mean I want every album to have a concept but at least have a theme. At least have a sound. So who is Goldlink?  Goldlink is a DMV rapper. What is he trying to say? At What Cost? is an ode to DC summers. You dance. You kick it with your friends. Some of those friends might not make it to the next summer. But you reflect on the good times. That’s why I like this album so much. Wale introduced us to the DC sound years ago, but we haven’t really had an update since then. This album gives me vibes of DJ Kool’s “Let Me Clear My Throat” and mixes in the new dance sound being carried by Kaytranada. Goldlink isn’t a fantastic rapper but he’s a good one. His flow works well with these songs. The only negative thing I have to say about this album is that two tracks were an iphone experiment by Steve Lacy of The Internet. I don’t even have to tell you which two tracks they are because you’ll hear it. They sound rough and don’t really add anything to the experience. Other than that, this album will likely remain at the top half of my album of the year list for 2017.

Standout tracks:

  • Meditation
  • Summatime
  • Crew

Least Favorite Tracks:

  • Herside Story
  • Roll Call

Did I like it? Yes

Will I recommend? Yes

Score: 3.75-5


So we give this album an average score of 2.5/5.

Recommendations: One yes, one “meh” and two no(s).




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