ALBUM: “Melt My Eyez See Your Future” by Denzel Curry
RELEASE YEAR: 2022
LABEL: PH and Loma Vista Recordings
BEST TRACKS: “The Ills,” “Chrome Hearts” and “Walkin”
FCC: Explicit language
In this recent album, Denzel Curry swaps out his signature sound for some self-introspection. He comes to terms with the struggles he has had and poetically lays it out for the audience to be a part of. Fans are used to his hype lyrics, bass-boosted beats, and hard-hitting quick flow; but this album offers something different.
This fifth studio album comes after projects full of bangers like “Ta13oo” and “Zuu”. However, what Curry wanted to present with this album was something other than catchy songs and ragers. His pivot allows for more intimate and reflective music as he explores both his worldview and his view of himself.
The album opens up with “Melt Session #1” which is a slower, self-analyzing introductory ballad. The track, with a piano feature and production from Rober Glasper, provides a soothing yet somewhat haunting sound. These instrumentals pair well with the lyrics, as Curry is discussing more serious topics and wrongs from his past.
Dealt with thoughts of suicide, women I’ve objectified/ Couldn’t see it through my eyes so for that, I apologize/ I’m just hypnotized, working hard to empathizeLyrics from “Melt Session #1” by Denzel Curry
The song seamlessly flows into the second track “Walkin” by carrying the same angelic background vocals and lyrical refrain. “Walkin” works through some of the personal difficulties Curry has faced while explaining how he interacts with the world around him as obstacles are thrown his way. He raps,
I just gotta stay focused/ I just gotta keep walkinLyrics from “Walkin” by Denzel Curry
This was the first track dropped from the album and features production from Kal Banx at Top Dawg Entertainment. Curry’s vocals begin with a slow progression and then switch to double-time with the build-up of a classic trap beat. Despite sticking with a familiar beat and flow in this song, he takes an unrushed pace.
The next notable track on the album, “Troubles,” details his problems with substance abuse and his ability to prioritize what matters. He confesses how he would easily blow his money on drugs, but he would not spend it on what he loves or needs.
I just lost my house to the drought/ Now I’m stayin’ on my mama couch/ Told me get a job or to bounce/ Never paid a bill, I cop a ounceLyrics from “Troubles” by Denzel Curry
The song, produced by Kenny Beats and DJ Khalil, also features the iconic and catchy autotuned vocals of T-Pain. The lyrics of the track are juxtaposed with its sound, which is a fun and bassy beat with a pop chorus. The extended edition of the album also has a “Cold Blooded Soul Version” of “Troubles” which brings in energetic percussion and brass. I would definitely say I prefer the live instrumentals in this version to the production in the regular track.
My favorite song on the album, also only on the extended “Cold Blooded Soul Version,” is “Chrome Hearts.” This song takes Curry’s flow and lays it over a light jazz-rap beat. Produced by Aaron Bow, Thurdi and Ashton McCreight, the track also features vocals in the hook from Zacari. Curry poetically raps about an internal conflict regarding the fairness of success as he compares himself to the less fortunate.
A main man, bay man, payin’ for some Ray-Bans/ That cost more than your rent while others struggle to get a cent/ In a sense, I ain’t shit because there’s many people starvin’/ Tombstones of a selfish man, these words are carved inLyrics from “Chrome Hearts” by Denzel Curry
The last memorable song on the album, “The Ills,” was produced by Dot Da Genius & Noah Goldstein. In this track, Curry wraps up the album with some piano, deep soul-searching, and self-proclaiming. He reflects on his music as a mode of self-expression and a way of processing his past. He also presents ideas about finding his true purpose and bettering himself. As he is attempting to explain himself now, he acknowledges he does not have it all figured out and still faces struggles. This by far is the most well-written song on the album and the lyrics are executed beautifully through his smooth and gentle flow. My favorite verse in the track follows:
I could be ferocious in my times of feelin’ feeble/ Sick of life’s ills, it could be short for illegal/ Common sense, a victim to sensory deprivation/ The mediator met with it all is in meditation/ Lord invited me to stay idly on his left side/ So I can right my wrongs in these songs to live and let dieLyrics from “The Ills” by Denzel Curry
While some songs fall short on this album, like “Zatoichi,” I still think Denzel succeeded at challenging his own status quo. The album demonstrates the growth he has gone through, not only as an artist but as a person. As someone who has been a fan since 2015, and is very familiar with the “old Denzel,” I confidently believe that this is one of his best, if not his best, project so far. He works with new instrumentals, strong features, and vulnerable lyrics, all of which make this album stand out.
Thanks for reading,