Atlanta rapper Future’s latest effort, The WIZRD, is his seventh full album and features twenty tracks. It’s a sprawling beast with a lot of dense auto-tune work and both the signature rap and sung lyrics. The themes are in there but packed in tightly, perhaps even a bit too tightly. At times the album is both bulging with a theme and yet strangely sparse with many of the tracks, at least initially, sounding very similar to each other.
Many of his previous albums have had a large number of tracks but The WIZRD eclipses them. Perhaps that’s part of the problem. With so many tracks, its harder for some of them, especially when you reach the second half of the album, to stand out. Which isn’t to say any of it is truly bad, this is not meant to be a negative review. It’s just when you have so many courses of food, which tastes more or less the same, eventually, it is hard to enjoy the latest plate that is put in front of you.
Future’s strengths include slick production that accentuates his natural flow which has both mainstream licks but also a bit of a snarl to give it some edge. The beats that flow throughout the album are undeniably catchy, this album will get your head nodding. There’s a certain style to it that connects all of the tracks together with a sort of sleazy, smokey electronica that gives it a bit of a retro feel.
Things start off strong with the edgy sound of ‘Never Stop’. This is followed by one of several very short tracks ‘Jumpin on a Jet’ which is just over two minutes long so doesn’t really get started before it finishes. Things kick back in with the aggressive swagger of ‘Rocket Ship’ which is another somewhat down and dirty rap with a slow, old school style that sounds a bit like early Nas. However, this track is also very short so ends before you really get into it.
As the album gets going though, it flows over the usual subjects like drugs (‘Cushed Up’) women (‘Stick to the Models’) and violence (‘Call the Coroner’). But it seldom gives anything enough time or enough originality to stand out and make a clear impression.
‘Goin Dummi’ is much better, one of the better tracks on the album mixing a strong beat and a bit less auto-tune than some of the other tracks. ‘First Off’ benefits from the guest vocals of Travis Scott to give it a bit of variety. It’s followed by the edgy, quick beats of ‘Faceshot’ which is one of the albums better tracks.
The album then fades out with the longer, slower tracks of ‘Ain’t coming Back’ and ‘Tricks On Me’ which are solid but so much as some of the other tracks that they make little impression.
In the end, it’s safe to say that The WIZRD Is guilty of the same trick being played so many times that it loses all of its impact. The album ends up feeling very samey by the end. This is a shame because he’s got a good flow and his production is very crisp and in places, slick as all day. But by the end of the album, it’s hard to shake the fog that the album leaves you in, unsure if you listened to anything in particular and with few really strong memories.