I’ll admit it, I hate album reviews. They’re usually done very soon after an album’s release, which makes them feel rushed. Most of the time, my opinion of an album changes dramatically as I listen more. Even more so, as a listener I have a hard time reading an album review because, frankly, it’s hard to give a crap about what someone else thought about an album. But, alas, I think that album reviews can still be useful. There’s no denying they point out the highlights and lowlights, and offer a valid impression, though it may be only a first impression.
So, on February 25, 2014 Schoolboy Q’s Oxymoron was finally released. I hope you read that with extreme emphasis on FINALLY, because it was a long time coming. Two of the albums singles, “Collard Greens” and “Man of The Year”, were released in 2013 and gained quite a bit of attention months before the release.
Through my first listen of the album, I starred 6 of the 15 tracks. “Collard Greens” is an amazing example of the lyricism Q (and Kendrick) bring to the table. “Hell Of A Night” is a great party song, that gets you pretty amped and ready to go. And who wouldn’t note “Fuck LA” which feels very…LA (in a good way). But the most interesting song for me, one that I’ll have to listen to more, is “The Purge”. The song is intro-ed by Q’s daughter, Joy. And then Tyler, The Creator comes in with a short but sweet and catchy set of bars. The beat echoes the sounds of an ambulance while Q lays down verses about the streets—by far my favorite song on the album so far.
There aren’t any songs I explicitly disliked, but if I had to choose one, I’d put “Studio” at the bottom (even though I love BJ The Chicago Kid). I suppose songs like “Los Awesome” and “Break the Bank” will grow on me with a few more listens, But “studio” still takes the cake as the album’s track needing the most help.
Following Q’s last album, Habits, I’d say Oxymoron is an teller of the obvious independence he’s gained in the industry. With way less features, Oxymoron feels much more focused on Q as an individual.
Written by Melissa McDougall