Whoa, look at me going all mainstream and posting about one of the best-selling albums of the year. How about those who have not had the time to listen to a whole album though, is it worth the buy? On my last album review, I was pretty extensive; but this time, I do not think I will have to break down the album that hard.
“Wait, so you’re saying this will be a brief review?” Hell no, in fact, I have a lot to say about the Maryland-based rapper and his debut album (though not his first release, quite a few mixtapes before this). However I can say with confidence that this review will not have to be too extensive unless I want to get excessive. The album has a similar sound in every song, therefore making each song description short, as I cannot use the same synonyms for every track on Under Pressure.
I consider Logic the child of J. Cole’s rhymes and rap style and Kendrick’s flow after their first honeymoon. It is really hard to say anything bad about his rapping skills, and there is some evident talent. Calling this album of the year is a bit much though, but let’s save it for the track by track breakdown:
1. Intro – The highlight of this album, believe it or not. Samples the album’s sound and features some hard verses by Logic in his introduction. These subjects of the raps though will appear again soon. Reflective start though, really pulled me in. 9.75/10
2. Soul Food – I love the original beat of this song, and the soul-vibe. Of course we should expect that with a name like Soul Food. Right away Logic breaks out, and really drops some of the strongest lines on the album. Definitely one of the more stand-out products of the LP. 9.5/10
3. I’m Gone – A bit similar to Soul Food except this song tells more of a story. This is where Logic begins to really open up, and I like the life breakdown of I’m Gone. The hook is subtle, though repetitive, and it sticks with you. The raps are not as hard and impressive as the previous tracks, but they still show his skill in verse. I also really like the supporting vocals by whoever that woman is. 9.25/10
4. Gang Related – This song is, you guessed it, gang related. I do appreciate the honesty of Logic’s verses, and more of the story-telling I started to like in I’m Gone. This song does what I’m Gone could not and spits strong rhymes while still informing the listener of growing up in the hood. The beat is very original as well, though it almost stands out so much it takes away from taking in the lines of Logic. Regardless, this is one of the best tracks on the album. 9.75/10
5. Buried Alive – This is the first time we actually get a glimpse of the singing voice of Logic. I wish we could get it more, as this is where he reminds me most of J. Cole (who sounded golden on Work Out and Can’t Get Enough). The editing over the verses to emphasize phrases also channels Kendrick Lamar, so this song really appeals to me. Another favorite on the album, though the rap verses is similar to the previous songs (especially Soul Food and Gang Related). Still feels perfect in my eyes, best song on the album to me. 10/10
6. Bounce – Right away I was terrified that this song would have a sexual tone that would throw the album into wack. However the song is true to the album’s focus, the story and upbringing of Logic. Definitely one of the most upbeat tracks on the album, which I definitely like. It does feel like the song gets lost in the chaos towards the end, but catches itself by the end with a smooth ride out. 9.25/10
7. Growing Pains III – More opening up of Logic, but wow I felt like it was forever until we could actually hear Logic start. I don’t mind snippets of conversation, but this just lasted a long time. When it starts, there are some incredible rapping going on. Almost reminds me of Eminem, and the sounds actually add to the song’s atmosphere. However I use my similar sound complaint, with some serious Gang Related material and subject matter applied. Also saddening when there is a lack of hook. 9/10
8. Never Enough – A huge shoutout to production on this track, golden work. The opening hook was not very appealing, however. These were some of my favorite Logic verses and the added-in sampling from the woman singer (I cannot place the song though) along with the nod to Kid Cudi’s Pursuit of Happiness (One of my favorite Cudi songs) were superb. The song really improves and end up becoming one of my favorites after a minute in. 9.5/10
9. Metropolis – More storytelling, which I do not mind. The song does sound like previous works though, and does not seem to attempt at creating a hook. Good story and an enjoyable listen but perhaps my least favorite song on the track, despite quick and hard raps by Logic. The dialogue feels uncalled for as well towards the end of the song. 8.25/10
10. Nikki – Named after his child’s mother is the track Nikki. I do hear a lot of emotion in the words of Logic and is refreshing to see the love from a rapper to who they are with. While the song’s lyricism is incredible, the song itself is not as enjoyable of a listen as some of the preceding tracks. 8.5/10
11. Under Pressure – The song named after the album is usually given the most attention, unless there is a strong collaboration (stay tuned). This track is over nine minutes, and if you’ve liked listening to Logic’s verses in the last few songs, you will enjoy this. More of the same sound and raps it feels, but I have to give him credit for rapping hard for so long. 8.75/10
12. Till The End – Interesting production, though I was not very amused. Logic stays on focus while telling his struggles of entering the music business, which is a heavy story. The hook is also really catchy. Decent song but the beat almost weighs it down. 9/10
13. Driving Ms. Daisy ft. Childish Gambino – Here is one of the most listened to songs on the album, Driving Ms. Daisy. Now that we are beginning the deluxe version songs, we have to keep in mind that these songs cost some extra, so they will have a lot more pressure on them. I liked Gambino’s verse, almost sounding like classic T.I. Logic sounds similar as before, but this is actually one of the best songs on the album for the low-key production and emphasis on rapping. 9.5/10
14. Now – Now featured some heavy production from big names, including 6ix and Arthur McArthur. The hook is hard, and most Hip-Hop fans will immediately like it. These are strong raps by Logic, and seem more original than the others. I found it hard to keep up with this song, and the track overall was very impressive. 9.75/10
15. Alright ft. Big Sean – This song includes some of my favorite lines on the album, especially with his mention of Danny Devito, which gave me a good laugh. Of course Big Sean will help make this the most-listened-to song on Under Pressure, but Big Sean was a bit disappointing. The verse was solid but unfocused, though the whole song feels like that. 9/10
So that averages out to exactly 9.25. It was hard to keep it brief, in fact I could not. However my point of lying in the beginning was the emphasize that the same sound is used often, and if you’ve heard one you’ve heard the next four or five. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? Hopefully Logic has more up his sleeve for his next project, as he will run out of ideas if he uses the same technique over and over again. I would love to hear more singing and vocal-work from him.
In essence, this album is complete Hip-Hop. It channels some of the best rappers and gives Logic the potential for a right future. So go ahead and ignore my rant on the whole thing and give the album a listen below (At the very least, I recommend the songs rated 9.5 or more):