Trauma, mental health and depression are far and away the most sung about topics from artists in recent years. I would say as high as sixty percent of the albums I have reviewed over the last couple of years have revolved around these sorts of topics.
Trauma by Olmo & Friends is the most recent release to revolve around these issues. The music is darker hip-hop. I found the beats and music to be fairly straightforward but well formed. It revolves around 4/4 beats and a lot of elements you find in hip-hop such as a prominent big kick drums, splicing techniques and more.
“Last Year Featuring Foley (Prod Pendo 96)” is the best produced track. The song tries to create a sense of mystery with a haunting choir and piano. There is a guy who is not exactly rapping and often comes off like spoken word. He paints a picture of a young indignant guy who could probably benefit from meditation. The rapper sings about his rage and even calls himself a scumbag and monster. In all honesty this reminded me of how some guys act in their 20’s where they get jealous and don’t know how to control their emotions.
Next up is “Lately (Prod Kane Shaw & Olmo Milnes)” and the fidelity takes a noticeable dip in quality for some reason. The music is again sort of haunting but the guitars give it more of a Linkin Park type quality. Thematically, the song is similar to the first. There’s a lot of nihilism and self-loathing with maybe a sliver of hope that things will get better.
On “See In Your Eyes (Prod Michael Howe & Olmo Milnes)” there is a lot of splicing on this song. The song is grating at times which was fine and he balances that with softer moments. “Stockholme (Prod Kubsy Beat)” was the highlight and my favorite song by a large margin. The mood is more subdued, meditative and pensive; it pays off very well. This song is the sound I would encourage him to go after in the future. The hook on this song is also just really good. “Trauma Featuring Jade Grundy (Prod Caps Ctrl)” is a solid song as well with female vocals.
My main critique is that I so wanted the band to hand the mixes to a professional mastering engineer. The songs are noticeably different volumes and the fidelity is different from song to song and this fixable. A mastering engineer who knows what they are doing can fix these types of issues with things like multi-band compressors. M/S processing and EQ.
Overall, there were some cool ideas and a couple really great songs. I wish the band luck with their new style.
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