If They & Grey is a collaboration of two musicians who might be onto something with their release Heart Still Beating but they aren’t there yet. I’m always one for finding your own sound but the duo tries to combine electronic music with hip-hop and pop. Some of it works, some of it feels inspired and some of it feels hopelessly flat. The duo falls their hardest when they attempt anger fueled hip-hop and end up sounding like whining teenagers who have shouldn't be cursing. Their strongest moments are when they create experimental electronic arrangement that combine with heartfelt lyrics.
Heart Still Beating doesn't have horrible production but the vocals were in need of some polish. A little bit more reverb and distortion would have helped out at certain points. It’s really quite scattered - some of is passable while other sounds needed serious work.
I thought “No Explanation” has some solid music. They combine electronic elements such as synths and drums, which was reminiscent of a band like The Faint. The straight up rapping they attempt leaves a couple of things to be desired. Let’s just Killer Mike doesn’t have any competition. Lyrics like, “Everything I’m so sick of everything,” “Everything is so fucking stupid” and “I’m so done, I’m past this It’s no fun, life happens I wish that I could give up” displays no creative or clever thought. On top of that the message of not being able to deal with the world and giving in isn't something I want to hear about.
As the album progresses the band continually shows that their strongest aspect is the music itself . They get creative with songs like “UnderOrange” and “Again” but unfortunately the vocal performances aren’t very impressive. The band is at their best vocally when they sing and are loose. The best example of this is “Heart Wreck” when they sing, “Now my heart, is all gone And I’m filled with regret Life can get hard, and when it hurts, sometimes I forget Life will go on, and all this pain, was always in my head Life will go on, so moving on is for the best.”
If They & Grey want to create a fan base they are going to have to come to terms with their strengths and weaknesses. They have already stated they would like to re-record this album at some point. Might be a good idea or just move forward with new material. My advice would be to drop the hip-hop style singing. It comes nowhere close to sounding like what you would expect from exceptional hip-hop artists like Run The Jewels 2 and Kendrick Lamar.
There might be something here but the band needs to do a lot tweaking and stop trying to force so many genres into one idea.
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