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Don Toliver - Life of a DON Music Album Reviews

Don Toliver - Life of a DON Music Album Reviews
The Texas rapper’s latest album sounds so damn good that the emptiness of it all is an afterthought.

Don Toliver graduated cum laude from the Travis Scott school of how to make nothing sound like something. The moodiness makes you feel like Don is about to embark on a journey of self-discovery like early Kid Cudi, go on a drunken voicemail rant like “Marvin’s Room”-era Drake, or throw in a splash of spitefulness like post-Honest Future, but that never happens. The Houston rapper and singer’s music is relatively conflict-free, and when things do go wrong, he seems largely  unfazed. Sometimes, it’s heartbreak, though he just moves onto the next Instagram model without so much as a shrug. Other times, after a long night of partying, he sulks in his loneliness—at least until he remembers that he has a stacked bank account, luxury goods falling from the sky, radio hits, and a cozy spot as second-in-command to one of the world’s biggest rappers.

As expected, Don Toliver’s latest album Life of a DON is hollow. His life is a blur, blah blah blah. Fame is not all it’s cracked up to be, but also it’s really cool, blah blah blah. (If you care about deeper thoughts on this subject, go listen to any Kanye album before Ye.) But miraculously, the emptiness of it all is an afterthought—it sounds so damn good that who even cares if Don Toliver is an emotionless robot or not (he is). The hooks are catchy and slick. The beats are lush and radiant. And he has this distinctly piercing voice, with a wide range of melodies that could make an extremely basic line jotted down on a dinner napkin sound heartfelt.

If you were to write out the chorus of “Way Bigger,” you might reasonably conclude that it was constructed by the Cactus Jack marketing team (there’s even a subtle callback to Don’s hit song “Lemonade”). But the glistening instrumental and brooding melodies wash away that overwhelming corporate sheen. The same could be said for “What You Need,” which isn’t groundbreaking or that original, yet it’s so easy to get hooked, especially with a couple of drops of booze in your system. The Metro Boomin-produced “Company Pt 2” is a highlight as well, even if it sounds like the type of hazy, melancholy instrumental that comes so easy to the beatmaker that at this point, he could have walked an intern through it without having to press a single button himself. These three records are Don Toliver’s sweet spot, smooth and downbeat; half-assed lyrics aside, they come across intimate enough that they could have been made in a bedroom, not a multi-million-dollar studio.

Whenever the songs are stripped down and his writing has to do more work, it’s noticeably vague and impersonal. Take the R&B ballad “Double Standards,” where it’s hard to believe Don has ever been in a real relationship. Similarly, the Kali Uchis-assisted “Drugs N Hella Melodies” has these dull, meandering musings, saved only by the twinkling instrumental.

Thankfully, this doesn’t happen often on Life of a DON. Given the maximalist approach passed down from Travis, there’s usually an exciting wrinkle in Don’s songs to latch onto, whether it’s the way he fuses with Baby Keem on “OUTERSPACE” over sci-fi movie beeps and boops or the messy falsetto he hits on “2AM” that sounds like it was laid down after taking too many shots at the club. The flashy beat switch-ups, unnecessary Mike Dean-style outros, and flexible vocal arrangements do a good job of camouflaging the mechanical nature of it all. It may be transparently a product of the music industry machine, but it’s a ton of fun anyway.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Don Toliver - Life of a DON Music Album Reviews Don Toliver - Life of a DON Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 Rating: 5

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