For any fans of soul and R&B that haven’t yet had the pleasure of interacting with The Internet’s music, it’s fair to say you’ve been missing out. Originally, the band was made up of just its two core members – Odd Future descendants Syd ‘Tha Kyd’ Bennett and Matthew ‘Matt Martians’ Martin – before expanding into a 6-piece ensemble. Syd and Matt put together The Internet’s debut album, Purple Naked Ladies (2011), before following that up with the very enjoyable, Feel Good (2013), a project on which they truly began to create their now distinct sound. The band’s latest offering, Ego Death, acts as a continuation of their style, developing both sonically and lyrically from their last album in impressive fashion.
Ego Death begins with a slightly heavier sound compared to Feel Good, and is certainly more sonically mature than Purple Naked Ladies. Both ‘Get Away’ and ‘Gabby’ (that features Janelle Monáe), carry rough guitar riffs that emit slightly more aggressive tones, before returning to the group’s more familiar, delicate backdrop. This soulful tenderness that The Internet are becoming known for is based on the way that Syd’s sultry vocals interact with the band’s varied and beautifully pieced together production. A strong example of such is displayed on ‘Under Control’, as Syd attempts to reassure the person in question that she has a clear idea of what she’s doing and that they are a part of it. The light drums and gentle guitars impersonate the sound of a summer’s day, adding to the comforting nature of the song’s subject. In addition to this, tracks like, ‘Something’s Missing’ and ‘Partners In Crime Part Three’ also contribute to the ever-improving sonic direction of the band.
The first single from the album was ‘Special Affair’ – a mysterious, almost sinister sounding track, which makes you feel uncomfortably comfortable in the way it infiltrates your ear. Syd’s vocal approach is perfectly in sync with the instrumentation, making for one of the album’s many highlights. The second single that came before the release of the album was ‘Girl’, which was assisted by gifted producer, Kaytranada. The aforementioned producer’s signature hard-hitting kicks and bouncy bass line, though different, do not feel out of place when put alongside the usual production style of The Internet.
Kaytranada is one of a few names that appear as featured artists throughout the album, including the likes of; James Fauntleroy, Vic Mensa & Tyler, The Creator. Mensa – a recent signee to Roc Nation – delivers a slick verse on the fun, ‘Go With It’. As one of the more upbeat cuts on the album, you may find yourself two-stepping to it at some point in the near future. The same could be said for the Tyler, The Creator supported, ‘Palace’, that opens with the Odd Future frontman asking, “Y’all ain’t never been to a party before?” Tyler provides a typically entertaining performance, casting a lot of doubt over the recent rumours that members of the Odd Future collective are currently at odds with each other.
Initially, it’s difficult to find a song that is skip-worthy, which obviously makes for a very satisfying listen. The Internet’s growth is obvious to hear on Ego Death – as was the case on their previous album – with this latest project being their most accomplished piece of work, so far.