Earl Sweatshirt – Doris (Album Review)

Earl Sweatshirt has been a Lochness style figure for most of his young career. Much like the elusive DOOM, Sweatshirt released few projects sporadically both as an emcee and as a producer. When he returned to the states, the industry and fans were abuzz. This week young Mr. Shirt dropped his long awaited and much touted project Doris.

Based on the singles “Chum” and “Whoa” I was eager to take a listen to the new project. Earl offered quite insightful lyrics on both tracks and deep down I was hoping this would be the pace for Doris. After listening to the project, I must say that I am largely impartial to it. The production is very lackluster and the album plays like an ear full of ‘molasses’. The only tracks were this works are “Chum” with its eerie, Adams Family style piano loops, and “20 Wave Caps” which features a glitchy 16-bit style beat.
Earl definitely establishes a style that separates him from 99.9% of his musical peers. However, that 0.01% that he can fall in with is Odd Future. Which means this project is everything you have heard before from the crew, just with a difference face.

The features are entirely lackluster, unfortunately. Aside from Domo Genesis (who has become my favorite OF member), nobody stands apart on this project as far as lyrics or energy. I was hoping RZA would have more to say on his feature, but he is confined to poorly placed adlibs. The features just become absorbed in the slow distorted beats and leave the listener with a feeling of monotony. Overall, as a fan of Earl, I am disappointed in this project. Structurally it is ok, maybe a 6/10 in that respect. Standout tracks for me were “Chum”, “20 Wave Caps”, and “Knight”.

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