‘I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside’ Review

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        By Brier Stucky        Earl Sweatshirt’s sophomore album is as bleak and dark as its title and cover art suggests. While Earl’s 2013 debut Doris was a somber album, it had its share of upbeat instrumentals and brighter subject matter. I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside’s style is a darker version of its predecessor’s bleakest moments.

        The album’s instrumentals are simple and reserved while Earl’s lyrical content remains incredibly dense and melancholic. While this makes for honest and sobering songs, the album as a whole rides the line between being too depressing and too simple to be compelling.
“Huey”, which features one of the brightest beats on the album, is reminiscent of Odd Future’s early style. The track transitions perfectly into the stellar “Mantra”, undoubtedly one of the album’s best tracks. The track demonstrates Earl’s more aggressive and charismatic rapping on top of a simple, yet effective instrumental. However, this track is also the most exciting point on the album, which comes far too soon. The rest of the project is moody and subdued. The sleepy third track “Faucet” is relaxing, but to the point where it’s almost boring.
        In general, I Don’t Like Shit is utterly depressing, stemming from the album’s dark instrumentals and sad subject matter. Earl’s vocal delivery only furthers this as he either sounds angry or grief stricken. The troubling “Off Top” is particularly dark, featuring distorted drums braced against an eerie piano sample. This makes for a chilling track, but one that is too sad to warrant further listens. The track “Grief” features a nocturnal beat and a creepy vibe, but it works well in many ways. Earl begins the track by dissing other rappers, but then discusses emotions and how his actions and decisions catch up with him. The track juxtaposes the ideas of good grief, in which Earl feels that he is far above other rappers in terms of talents, and compares it with experiences of intense grief. It’s an interesting concept for a song and is executed perfectly.
        Fans of Earl’s past music will find enjoyable songs on this project, but the album as a whole is too miserable and uninspired, as Earl has similar themes and music on past efforts, to feel interesting and/or new. Still, there is great content on the album and no truly bad songs. For Earl fans, it’s undoubtedly a must listen, but for most this project isn’t worth the time.

Verdict

Okay

Earl’s sophomore effort is bleak, dreary, and ultimately boring.
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Positives

  • Great, moody tracks
  • “Mantra”, “Grief”, “AM // Radio”

Negatives

  • Nothing new
  • It’s depressing style kills the album’s vibe