#HotTake Review - Logic - 'No Pressure'
In October 2018, I wrote a review of Logic’s YSIV. It was during one of my LCD Soundsystem periods, a week before the release of Twenty One Pilots’ Trench, and when I was building my writing momentum toward NaNoWriMo. In the first paragraph, I wrote, “When I opened iTunes I meant to listen to John Scofield’s new album Combo 66. I am not a huge Scofield fan, but I am into Jazz. However, when I clicked the new music tab and saw Logic, I chose YSIV.”
Up to that point, I only heard a little Logic. Friends at work put him on later at night; some of his songs showed up in a couple of playlists I listened to as I wrote, and when riding in the car, I heard “I-800-273-8255” listening to the radio. However, I wrote about YSIV, “From ‘Thank You (feat. Lucy Rose & The RattPack)’ to ‘Last Call,’ I was involved. None of it is ‘chunky’ or clunky. It is smooth, fun, and full of Logic philosophizing. ‘Wu Tang Forever (feat. Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, RZA, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna, Jackpot Scotty Wotty, U-God, Masta Killa & GZA)’ will be loved by old-school heads like me. I loved ‘100 Miles and Running (feat. Wale & John Lindahl)’ on first listen. And ‘Last Call,’ is one of those songs like J. Cole’s ‘Note to Self.’ [Another one of my favorites]”
Since then, I listen to a lot more Hip-Hop, mostly Trap because of my fiancée, but like all music, I haven’t found anything I have been super excited about for a long time. (This reminds me of the conversation I had that same October in 2018 with my daughter, Syd. I explained to her that there are few five-out-of-five albums because they have to be timeless and special.) Yes, I have some favorites of the year – Tame Impala’s The Slow Rush, Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia [I did just write that], Thundercat’s It Is What It Is, EOB’s Earth [I should write a review for it], The Strokes’ The New Abnormal, Kllo’s Maybe We Could, Politiça’s When We Stay Alive, Lane 8’s Brightest Lights, TokiMONSTA’s Oasis Nocturno and Little Dragon’s New Me, Same Us [Ok. There’s sort of a top ten of this year from me.] – but I haven’t heard that LCD Soundsystem’s This Is Happening, Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, or Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN caliber album in a minute. [Yes, this is the point where I want people to prove me wrong.] Anyway, I got way off topic. Back to Logic.
No Pressure is not my next five-out-of-five album, but I will say that Logic’s sound stimulates me in ways other music does not. In “Hit my line,” he abstractly and shallowly broaches the political climate of the world. “They say they don’t want messages in rap, it ruins the art/Well, here I am, people, yeah, now tear me apart/So much happenin’ in the world, I can’t touch on every topic.” But the acknowledgement is there. He isn’t trying to hit his audience over the head with aggressively divisive material. Logic is more about uplifting and dryly humorous lyrics mixed with jazzy beats. In Dadbod, “Used to be up to date on that rap political shit/But nowadays I’m up to my elbows/And every single inch of my body in my baby’s shit.” It’s the honesty I love to hear.
If you’ve listened to Logic, No Pressure will not surprise you. As soon as it started, I knew who I was listening to. However, I like it better than 2019’s Confession of a Dangerous Mind. It plays better for me. It is lighter. I love the fun Logic has creating albums. He goes with his feel, and although he has his own sound, he evolves as a musician. That’s what’s important to me: Logic is a dynamic artist, and if I want to listen to material like his early work, I can listen to earlier albums.
Final Thought: Ok. This was a shallow and meandering review. I own it. However, I want you to give this album a listen. Logic’s intelligence is his driving force, and it is what lifts him to a higher status. This album is one in a line of successful work, and when his skills continue to show, I applaud it. [Added just before I sent this to Michael: It was difficult choosing a favorite song because I like all of them for different reasons.]
Favorite Songs: “Open Mic\\Aquarius III,” “Dadbod,” and “Amen.”
Rating - 4.5 out 5