Odd Future (full name Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All) seems to make a brand of music that is intentionally garbage – crass, crude, misogynist, lacking in any musicality or substance. It’s the kind of thing you don’t want your mom to catch you listening to, which maybe partially explains its appeal to teenagers and cultural elites alike.
The Los Angeles collective, which includes Tyler, The Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis, Mike G, Frank Ocean and a host of others not worth mentioning, has accumulated a cult following through a series of free albums, videos and a more formal release, 12 Odd Future Songs. They were even the subject of a lengthy profile in the The New Yorker magazine, which focused on the disappearance of Earl, the group’s most revered member.
They’ve been hailed as a genius creation, tapping into the new frontier of music as it disseminates through the Internet, by both the street and high-brow outlets like Pitchfork and The New Yorker.
But then you actually listen to them and you get a “What am I missing?” reaction from the music itself.
The Odd Future Tape Vol. 2 is being billed as their first studio album and it really doesn’t offer polish or anything we haven’t heard before. Instead, it’s a steady beat of tiring, angry tracks mixed with a few commercial-ish tracks (“Analog 2”, “Ya Know”) that not only don’t work, but don’t really fit either.
Crooner Frank Ocean appears on “Analog 2” and “Snow White,” and it’s clear he just doesn’t belong in this group.
On “Snow White” Hodgy raps, “I ain’t the one to be tampered with/I’ll make you shit all in your pants and your pamper, bitch.” This is a typical Odd Future line—nasty, angry and nonsensical.
Odd Future is neither tough enough to be scary nor off-the-wall enough to be funny. That’s what is particularly disappointing. For a group that’s supposed to be something kids are into, there’s not much in the way of fun here at all.
Having three separate songs titled “Bitches,” “Real Bitch” and “We Got Bitches” is crass, yes, but worse, it belies a lack of creativity.
As for the much-mythologized Earl Sweatshirt, he’s not even on the album aside from an appearance seven minutes into the final track. It’s a test to even get that far into “Oldie” to appreciate his unspectacular verse. If Earl is the second coming, this reviewer is still waiting.
It’s not known for sure what happened to Earl when he disappeared from the group for a time, but rumor has it his mother sent him away to some type of boarding school. Who can blame her for getting him away from these guys?
With as much buzz as there is surrounding Odd Future, it would be nice to find some hidden genius in their shoddy work.
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