Music, like any artform, is only digested fully with time. The best forms of the art have many layers to peel back and one can’t truly get the full experience from one listen, but an impression most certainly can be left. Some even say the first impression is the purest so, with our First Impression segments, we’ll be tackling new music from all over, describing what we get from the artist’s work, and expressing immediate stand outs from each work.
With the recently signed Quest dropping one of the better projects of this year, VMG head Logic is Under Pressure in a few different ways. With a handful of decent mixtapes where Logic seemed to be searching for his identity and the previously mentioned artist seeming to have found his lane, Logic has a statement to make under the Def Jam umbrella. Does Under Pressure deliver?
Welcome new edition to the Koalition team Ed Mason. And, also, shout out to the very awesome Tia for contributing as well. Check more of her work here.
As with the last “First Impression” this is my first time hearing a song from Logic. Some of my friends had buzzed about him but I didn’t see any reason to jump into his music. Seeing as there are a lot of forgettable artists today, that was my reasoning as he didn’t really do anything to stand out to me.
Under Pressure has moments of greatness. It’s evident that he thought about his first impression to the world on a major label. The problem is that it feels like we’ve heard some of these songs before. The majority of the songs on Under Pressure felt like they were J. Cole reference tracks. The production is stellar but there’s just something I couldn’t shake that felt like I had heard this sound and this artist before. His voice, at times, is reminiscent of Childish Gambino as is the flow. Hell, the production from “Metropolis” is a rip-off from “Sing About Me” by Kendrick Lamar. I was right to not take a listen and pass on his music the first time I saw people talking about him.
Favorite track(s): “Intro”, “Nikki”
I came across Young Sinatra: Undeniable back in when it dropped in 2012 and it has been quite a roller coaster ever since then. Logic is undeniably (ha) talented on the mic, but his rapid flow is done so much it sometimes ends up with his projects have a monotonous tone. Welcome To Forever was a change of pace, but there were too many times he seemed to be emulating popular artists’ style. Under Pressure still suffers from the monotony a bit, but it is his most complete work to date.
Early on, “I’m Gone” delivers across the boards. Logic alternates his pace a bit multiple times, the hook is solid, and the beat is one of the better ones on the project. The 2nd verse is the definition of what I’d like more from him and it’s unfortunate that there aren’t more “complete” tracks like this consistently. Then theres “Metropolis” which was simply hard to listen to since the opening put me directly in the mindset of Kendrick’s “Sing About Me”.
Don’t get me wrong, the album is still a solid listen from opening to close. There just aren’t many tracks that sound like they’ll get multiple spins down the line after my first listen. All too often, I found myself nodding to dope production and not carrying what message (or lack thereof) was trapped in that rapid flow. Also, the woman linking the tracks? Mad annoying.
Favorite track(s): “I’m Gone”, “Under Pressure”
While continuing to demonstrate his flow, Under Pressure suffers from a few setbacks that ultimately stunt its progression. The first issue is contrived from Logic himself who denounces the importance of women and money on the track I’m Gone, but then continually gives these topics attention throughout the project. Along with this, the female voices used in everything from ad-libs, instrumental construction, and the explanation of several irrelevant “fun facts” grows sonically tiresome taking away from the overall experience.
As you wander from song to song you notice that the style that was appealing originally tends to slowly loose its magic. The reinvigorating moment when you feel captivated once more unfortunately is Till The End, and if you only have access to the standard disk then the end is here! The bonus tracks featuring Childish Gambino and Big Sean respectively arrive too late, although the breath of fresh air was appreciated. For implementation purposes they would have been better served throughout the album instead of at the end as bonus tracks.
Logic surely has nothing to be ashamed of with this release advertising his skills at every opportunity, but too much of a good thing can undoubtedly hinder a project as is the case with Under Pressure.
Favorite track(s): “Till The End”, “Growing Pains III”, “Driving Ms. Daisy” (Bonus)
Put your backpack on, grab your favorite craft beer, and slide on those headphones. Once you have done so head to your local park, yes, I know…drinking in public is discouraged, but who cares, Logic breaks the rules, and so can you. Logic’s first full length LP takes us in to the life of Young Sinatra.
Full of Jazz samples and a double time cadence, Under Pressure is a lot to handle in one listen. It’s not an easy to follow album, but that’s okay, Logic adds just a bit of pop to his intricate lyrical styling. Under pressure will live up to its name for some, as it might make you feel bloated and uncomfortable. For others, it’s sure to make you feel like royalty.
Favorite track(s): “Under Pressure”, “Till the end”
Logic’s Under Pressure is my first initial introduction to his music and I have to admit that I’m glad to have discovered this album, it’s undeniably dope. From intro to outro, Pressure hits you with a heavy dose of stylishly soulful and bouncy production, clever lyricism, diverse delivery, and an air of coolness. Each track shows off various elements of Logic’s craft and gives you a keen sense of who he is an artist. Of course, you can hear subtle elements of Kendrick Lamar’s music style sprinkled throughout the album, but not so much to where you lose sight of Logic’s appeal and originality.
The first song that stood out to me was “I’m Gone” which is just straight fire. “Gang Related” followed right after and further impressed me as Logic showed off the versatility of his flow. His storytelling ability excels on “Growing Pains III” while “Buried Alive” is breezy with an infectious hook that will make you want to run that right back. Overall, Under Pressure is solid as hell and grabs your attention from the start. Even without knowing Logic’s backstory, this album sounds like growth. It gives off a polished vibe, and Logic respectively sounds comfortable in the space he’s in on this project. He’s definitely gained a fan, very impressive.
Favorite track(s): “I’m Gone”, “Never Enough”, “Buried Alive”, “Now” (Bonus)
Sounds like Under Pressure is mostly worth the listen. Take a dive yourself and share your First Impressions down in the comments.