Album Review: Skrillex – Recess

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He is an artist who has been under the radar since 2011’s Bangarang, but now Sonny Moore, AKA Skrillex is taking a shot at the mainstream with his debut studio album, Recess.

Fans will not be disappointed with this one, there’s plenty of Skrillex’s signature style throughout the tracks from drum and bass-style build ups to some pretty sick bass drops, to his vocal splicing and sampling (for instance,as found in Summit, with Ellie Goulding.) At the same time there’s a good deal of variation across the album, from more mellow electronic tracks with clean vocals (Coast Is Clear), to all-out big drum and bass, leaning towards dubstep, tracks (All is Fair in Love and Brostep, Dirty Vibe) There’s a lot there for fans of electronic music basically.

Having said this, I don’t think Recess is by any means flawless. Some of the melodies are just a bit too weak to hold my attention throughout the song. In regards to the song Stranger, which generally is one of the best songs on the album in my opinion, the song works through to a pretty badass build up but the chorus that it throws at you is a little disappointing. I didn’t mind it too much after a few plays but I was basically sitting there thinking “er, what?” it sounds kind of like Skrillex fell asleep on his pitch bend wheel, which is alright for the chorus, but then the song moves back into the verse and it’s like he thought “that worked a treat just then, let’s keep using this semi-irritating high-pitch bend for a verse.” It just seems a little unnecessary for someone who usually has such a good grasp on melodic development. The rest of the song’s cool though, so it’s all good.

I should point out that the album has slowly grown on me; my initial impressions weren’t particularly pleasant, perhaps because Bangarang was so promising, but I remember thinking “ah, this review isn’t gonna be pretty” but I have changed my mind a little. I originally thought there were a few mediocre songs, with the rest of the album being garbage filler. But apart from one, there are no songs that I really dislike, it’s more that overall the songs fell a little short. As for the song I really disliked, Doomy Poomp is just a song best left unlistened to. Except for like 50 seconds of the track, it’s just a load of different noises that sounds a bit like a record playing backwards while someone’s trying to clean a window with a scour. I imagine that song is how most modern music sounds to the older generations. Now I know what it feels like.

Overall, Recess has improved upon me steadily from an album I was skipping through, thinking “maybe there’ll be a good song next” to a good album and one worthy of Skrillex’ signature music. I was set on a three star rating for a while, and now i’ve settled on a 3.5. I’m almost tempted to rate Recess a 4 star but there are just so many great albums that come out every year and though Recess is a good album, it isn’t good enough to contend with the mass of awesome albums released in the last year.

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