Classic Album Review

Album Review: “Melt My Eyez See Your Future” by Denzel Curry

ALBUM: “Melt My Eyez See Your Future” by Denzel Curry


LABEL: ​​PH and Loma Vista Recordings

RATING: 8/10

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 empathize

Lyrics 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 walkin

Lyrics 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 ounce

Lyrics 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 in

Lyrics 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 die

Lyrics 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,

Maddie H.

Band/Artist Profile Concert Review

Quarters of Change at Cat’s Cradle — 01/22/23

Quarters of Change is an alternative-rock indie band from New York City. As a quartet from the lower east side, they are helping to bring forward a new wave of NYC alt-rock. The band, formed in 2017, is composed of Ben Acker, Attila Anrather, Jasper Harris and Ben Roter. 

What started as a group of high school guys playing music together has turned into a touring band with an exponentially growing fan base. The band’s debut album, Into the Rift, was released July 2022. The 11-track compilation exemplifies their versatile alternative sound. Four months later, they released the deluxe version with three additional tracks, one of them being a personal favorite, “Blue Copper.” 

With songs like “Jaded,” “Ms. Dramatic,” “Sex” and “Die in Your Arms,” they showcase this versatility in sound. They switch between electrifying guitar riffs, catchy refrains, groovy drum beats, upbeat tempos, and slow melodies. 

The band has had some newfound success in the past years with contributions from legendary producers Tom Lord-Alge and Mikey Freedom Hart. They have also had some songs, “Kiwi” and “T Love,” featured on indie and alternative rock Spotify playlists which have helped to expand their listeners. 

Quarters of Change North American tour poster
Quarters of Change North American tour poster

The first time I saw QOC was when they opened for Laundry Day in April 2022 at Irving Plaza in New York City. The show was almost sold out and the crowd was lively. I had no idea who they were at the time and was just there for the ride. I was impressed by their stage presence and vocals, but what made me an instant fan was the mesmerizing guitar riff in the crowd favorite, Kiwi. 

Now, Quarters of Change is currently on a North American headlining tour. Luckily, I was able to secure tickets for the Cat’s Cradle date before the sell-out. 

I had bought three tickets to go with friends earlier on in Jan., while coincidentally in Manhattan on a trip. 

On the day of the show at Cat’s Cradle’s back room, my friends and I settled in for the concert right next to the stage. Being familiar with Cat’s Cradle already, I was excited about the intimacy of the performance. 

The opening support, Savoia, an alternative indie rock band also from New York got the crowd going with their eccentric performance from the lead singer and their danceable songs. I enjoyed Savoia’s set and found myself doing some head-banging, although I felt some tracks were repetitive in structure. 

Yet they still successfully got the crowd warmed up for the main show. The crowd was mainly college-aged individuals and a semi-alternative scene.

QOC came out on stage to open with “Chloe”, a catchy song with a broken-hearted tone. Many of the songs the band performed were from their new album, Into the Rift.

While “Ms. Dramatic” and “Dead” seemed to be the two crowd favorites of the night, the audience was singing along and dancing to every song. It would be fair to say that the majority of the crowd was established supporters of the group already. 

The group also played iconic hits “T Love,” “Rift,” “Blue Copper,” “Sofia,” “Kiwi” and “Depression”.  

The lead vocalist, Roter, brought high energy and amazing vocals into the performance, while Acker and Harris played clean guitar and had great flow and Anrather carried with his beats. 

Despite being cut short on time by the venue, the group managed to play two more songs for the fans which was notable. The crowd definitely appreciated the gesture.

The band members were very kind and took the time to talk to fans as well as Leksie Fetrow and myself, the WKNC reps, after the show. We sat outside and chatted for a good 30 minutes with members of both Savoia and QOC. All of them were super sweet and carried a great presence off the stage as well. 

Overall, my friends and I had a lovely time. We sang, danced and thoroughly enjoyed the concert. I would definitely love to see Quarters of Change and Savoia again sometime soon.

Thanks for reading, 

Maddie H.