Music and poetry have always been intertwined. From the likes of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen putting such focus into their lyrics that they have even admitted they just put poetry to music, to Seamus Heaney publically praising Eminem. However, rarely has the link been as strong as it is in George Watsky, the American rapper who started his career aged 15 by winning national Poetry Slam competitions in the U.S. His poetry talents have translated seamlessly into rap hits and now, following the release of a highly successful book, Watsky has returned to music by releasing his new album ‘x Infinity’.
Watsky sounds excited to be back. The energy he brings to the new release is very similar to that of a child just let out for lunch in school. The excitement is audible in the music, as the live instrumentation and the electronic beats blend cohesively. Watsky has always been renowned on his quick rapping, and that has been utilized to full effect in songs such as “Talking to Myself” and “Lovely Thing Suite: Conversations”. The album pulls influences from a lot of genres, with one track pulling influences from so far back as a medieval courtyard, but giving it a modern twist.
The themes portrayed throughout the album include the Paris terrorist attacks, drug use, the possibility of alien life and a whole song about oral sex which, even though doesn’t sound that funny, is hilarious. The production on these tracks are notable; Russell Simmons executive produces the album, with Anderson.Paak and Kush Moody also producing, and the drumming heard in most songs is done by Twenty One Pilots drummer Josh Dun. The variety of different sounds and influences make this a very interesting album to listen to, but some tracks feel like they still drag in length.
If there is ever an album to garner Watsky more European fans it will be this one, as there is enough variety that anyone can find a bit of themselves in at least one song. Watsky’s humor and honesty are quite endearing and you start to become fond of him as you would a class clown, smiling and laughing when no one is there to judge your immaturity.
At an hour and fifteen minutes this album is a bit too long. There is a point while listening to it straight through that you begin to lose concentration and interest and no matter how good something is, this is always bound to happen. However the difference is, ‘x Infinity’ is well worth coming back to for another dense listen. Another album, another milestone proving again Watsky is worth paying attention to.