It is rare for me to ask for recommendations. I tend to not like things I’m not used to, but recently I found myself on listening to the same things over and over. Had to break out of that habit so I asked my friends what they are listening to. Deem Spencer was recommended by our good friend and amazing artist EricTheRager! When I went on Deem’s page I recognized him immediately because I had seen the cover for Pretty Face before. You don’t just forget that cover. I listened to Deem’s Tape and that album and came up with this.
This shit is boring. I was going to try to be nice and diplomatic, but I can’t. On Deem’s Tape, Spencer’s voice barely rises above a whiny sounding whisper. So that’s twenty-three whole minutes of whispering over this minimalist (boring) production. On the first song “Dors,” Spencer is mumbling over an organ and you can’t really understand anything he’s saying. “Stuck On Me” is one of the two bright lights on this album. Spencer is still whispering, but at least you can understand what he’s saying on this one. This beat is fun and sunny. Reverbed guitar chords, sporadic hi-hats and snares, held together by synth that goes up and down in pitch. It sounds great, then BAM! We get right back to being bored. Until we get to “Wife Wife,” which is the other highlight on the album. Spencer and Okay Kaya both sing over reverbed piano chords and their vocals sound like they were recorded while they sang over a PA system, but it works. It sounds like a SBTRKT track, which is a plus. Other than that? This album is a snoozefest.
Pretty Face, however, is a different story. The second track, “been,” sees Spencer rapping over this very minimal beat. It features a menacing bassline, a kick drum and spaced out piano notes. Spencer raps about finding a stranger’s girl cute. Apparently she’s a fiend though, but this doesn’t seem to bother Spencer, who’s just trying to smash. This moment doesn’t last long, though. The next track sees Deem go right back to whispering. So much whispering. The only redeeming quality is the production and even the beats are boring and redundant at times. The beat for “but” is tight, though. It’s jazzy and reminiscent of D’Angelo or something from the Soulquarians era. The track “shorty, Pt.3” shows promise at the beginning. Spencer sounds like he’s alive and into what he’s saying, then BAM! Right back to the boring shit. I hate being teased through soundwaves.
Deem Spencer’s music is not my cup of tea, at all. If you enjoy him, that’s all that matters. At the end of the day this is just my opinion anyways. Shoutout Deem! All love to black people creating and sharing their art!
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