After an apparent retirement at the end of last year, the superstar producer drops a surprise album with a stacked guest list.
Track 1 – 10 AM/Save The World (feat. Gucci Mane)
Here it is… The beat is dancing in my ear, it’s smooth. What else should I expect though? Wop’s delivery is silky smooth. He may have one of the most relaxing voices of all-time for having such a rasp behind it. The bells are a really nice touch after the synths – this really feels like it’s trying to absorb and invite you into a new world. There are so many layers to the instrumental; it really makes me realize how much I’ve missed Metro, the beat is constantly switching between a piano, bells, and synths. “I got more enemies than 50 dawg,” haha, nice bar Gucci. Whoa whoa whoa, I knew we were getting bangers from Metro but what is this!?The sample mixed with the piano on the outro took me to heaven way too early. Solid opener form Metro, welcome back.
Track 2 – Overdue (feat. Travis Scott)
What a switch. I have chills way too early. This really feels like Metro’s album, like a collection of the greatest beats he’s produced. It has an other-worldly production value to it; I was expecting great instrumentals from Metro, but the switches and level of layers behind these beats so far is unprecedented for him even. This isn’t something I’d think of Travis Scott to rap over, but he enters and proves me wrong almost immediately. You never know how much of Travis’ ad-libs you need until you get them. His harmonizing never gets old. This is straight beautiful, there’s no other word for it. Travis lyrically is bringing something to the track to, really hitting the emotions about overdoing yourself and trying to do too much in life. This is a Metro track, my lord this beat is unquantifiable through words. The violin, the sample, the keys. Perfection.
Track 3 – Don’t Come Out The House (feat. 21 Savage)
True fans know how awesome that reference to Outside was. 21 ad-libs will forever slap. The beat switch by the way – yeah that was great, again. What is this? 21 is whispering like he’s hiding in the closet from Michael Myers, but it’s kind of cool, I guess? I like it. Beat comes back in – this is the most haunted track of the year, Savage turned into Freddy Krueger really quick. This is just a classic 21 Savage flow and beat. 21 is really starting to become a more subdued 2 Chainz – he just finds a way to make me laugh on every verse. Whether it’s the Kid Cudi/babyface line on NC-17, or the line here about ‘whispering the whole time,’ he’s great at bringing life through lyrics to his monotone voice. Cool track.
Track 4 – Dreamcatcher (feat. Swae Lee & Travis Scott)
Oh no, the tone switched really quick to this track. It’s RIP Screwpart 2. This is a freaking lullaby; I’m going to play this to put my first son to sleep every night. Swae Lee is the trap angel. He levitates on every track and became a good singer in the last year out of nowhere. His voice has a weird tone to it that makes it even more beautiful. I love it. Okay this really is RIP Screw part 2, Travis is using a really similar effect on his voice as the one from that song. The vocals are solid – the highest I’ve heard Travis go. Every Travis features shows how he’s constantly changing as an artist and experimenting. This song is perfect. Dreamcatcher is the most appropriate title of the year too, it fits. The classic Metro laugh creeps in at the end, with Travis harmonizing through a vocoder, as if the track wasn’t enough already. A+.
Track 5 – Space Cadet (feat. Gunna)
Uh oh. This sounds dangerous. The synths are dancing from ear to ear, this is where Metro is at his finest. Young Gunna Gunna is setting the record for features in a year, and it’s not even close. The dude is on everything. This track is building to something, I’m ready for the drop. Gunna will never have a bad flow, he has a talent for navigating a beat, like a sailor uses the stars to navigate the seas. The drop was subdued but is still awesome. Gunna’s voice fits the keys so well. Another great title choice, I’m on Mars listening to this one. The instrumental keeps switching between the keys and synths and feels like a space wave, I’m convinced Metro Boomin was the first to find water on Mars – forget the reports from last year about it. Space Cadet is a track I’ll be going back to until I’m sick of it. Great track.
Track 6 – 10 Freaky Girls (feat. 21 Savage)
These titles are too much. What in the… No haha, just no, this is not about to get sampled. I feel like I’ve heard this before but can’t pinpoint where. Okay that was a random detour but I’m glad – as entertaining as that might’ve been, I didn’t want to hear Savage on whatever that was. I do want to hear him on this beat, though. The sub bass is subtly adding so much in the background, another wavy beat. This is calm but carries a good energy to it, slowly building to something greater. Besides the beat, Savage is flowing so well, and going back to the classic mobster lines that made everyone fall in love with him in 2016. WHOA WAIT – I knew the beat was building but not to this, good lord!! This is amazing – Savage is FLOWING, horns are coming in, what is going on? This instrumental is perfect for Savage, shows how much he needs Metro production in his life. Now we’re back to the sample from the beginning. This track is insane, I love it.
Track 7 – Up To Something (feat. Travis Scott & Young Thug)
The fan in me is not going to resist this song at all. It’s been way too long since we’ve heard Travis and Thug on the same beat. This is a moment in culture. Classic Metro instrumental, using the howling synths and layered drums that carried him to success in the first place. This song is straight out of 2015. This is my childhood in music. God bless Metro for doing this. Hearing Travis and Young Thug harmonize at the same is like the picture of Dwayne Wade’s ally-oop to LeBron James, it’s undeniably great and will never get old. This is more of a Thug track, but I’m not complaining at all. A Metro/Travis/Thug album needs to be made. It’s the one collaboration people actually need. In the meantime, thank you for this one.
Track 8 – Only 1 (Interlude) [feat. Travis Scott]
Travis really did give Metro the stimulus package for this album, huh? Metro is one of the rare producers that doesn’t overuse pianos and makes them consistently work. Drugs You Should Try It vocals are in full effect. This is honestly Metro making a beautiful beat and needing a feature over it. This sounds like a live recording – extremely 808s & Heartbreak. Cool, nothing I’ll consistently come back to.
Track 9 – Lesbian (feat. Gunna & Young Thug)
What a song title, but what else can you expect from an artist (Thug) that has already taken Fuck Cancer and Scoliosis as titles of past. Gunna and Metro just work, it’s a fact of life. Like I said, Gunna will never, ever have a bad flow. In recent years, Thug has really found his way with LondonOnDaTrack and Hitmakaz, but it’s clear that Metro is still his bread and butter. The two need to go back to working together more. Besides that, this track is good-but-not-great. Nothing redeeming here.
Track 10 – Borrowed Love (feat. Swae Lee & Wizkid)
I really do like sampling Metro but what in the world is this? Wait, DANCEHALL? There’s no way he actually made this beat. He’s just flexing at this point saying, ‘what can’t I do?’ This isn’t something that I expected to like so much, but I mean, Swae freakin’ Lee. The guitar in the background too? Good lord this is overkill. Wizkid is the man. People need more Wizkid in their lives, no one realizes he’s the OG of the dancehall sound that swept the nation in 2016/17. Sweet track, not amazing, but not bad at all.
Track 11 – Only You (feat. Wizkid, Offset, & J Balvin)
I’ve enjoyed a majority of this album, but it’s starting to drag a little. Wow, this is way different for Metro. Since when did he decide to make dancehall? I’m not feeling this one as much as the last, and how is Offset going to work on this track? Hook is decent. Here is a Migo, outside of his natural habitat, do not sing dancehall Offset. Ever. He somehow makes out for a decent verse, with his flow after the bridge being entertaining. I’m not much of a J Balvin fan. This track is just weird. I like the beat and Wizkid. That’s it. If this song comes on in Jamaica at the beach with a rave going on around me, cool. If not, skip.
Track 12 – No More (feat. Travis Scott, Kodak Black, & 21 Savage)
Are these three going to do a dancehall track now? God forbid. No, okay. This is the real Metro again. The beat is howling through my ears and absorbs me back into the world created for the first half of the album. Travis’ choice of vocal effect on this record is cool, really creates a hollow feel. My goodness Kodak. If you listen to the lyrics, he’s somewhat good, but he just isn’t pleasing to the ears at all on this one. His recent approach to tracks has been concerning to say the least. 21 has given nothing but solid verses on this album – MVP. ‘Long as I got Metro, I’m gone shine,’ what did I say? Savage needs Metro. Another random sample outro, they’re random at this point instead of entertaining.
Track 13 – No Complaints (feat. Offset & Drake)
We’ve all heard this track by now, right? Hopefully you have. It just gets better every single time I listen to it. The first couple times I heard the track, it was whatever to me. A decent track over a good-but-not-special Metro beat. Now, it’s one of my favorites from last year. Offset absolutely murders this beat, which has so much going on, but contains itself to where it’s not a mess. It’s addicting to say, ‘Racks in the – what? – racks in the safe,’ along with Offset every time. Drake brings the If You’re Reading Thisflow and attitude and also gives a really nice verse on this. Also, the outro to the beat – it’s Metro’s best fade out since 3500in 2015, which is saying something – because Metro is a master at outros to tracks. 10/10
BEST TRACK: Up To Something
BEST FEATURE: Gunna on Space Cadet
BEST QUALITIES: The instrumentals are out of this world, a lot of new substance from Metro, first seven or so tracks are amazing, the flow of the first half.
THINGS TO CHANGE: Dancehall, please stop. The overuse of old samples in fadeouts – was cool at first but became annoying, overuse of certain artists on features.