Jan 14 2022

Album Review: Earl Sweatshirt – SICK!

It’s probably unnecessary to write 100 words on the latest release from an artist whose work I’ve never connected with in any meaningful way. I suppose it’s important, in my growth as a music fan, to recognize that not everything is made for me, and there are just some areas of music, maybe even genres I generally adore, that I will not understand. Knowing this, and familiar with the work of Earl Sweatshirt, I still went in with open ears, listening to the entire half hour of SICK!, which felt like much longer.

Earlheads (or whatever his fanbase is called) should take all of this with a grain of salt, as it is likely I just don’t “get it”, but I find Sweatshirt’s output to be critically overrated and a tedious listen. The uninspired jazz loops and ambient sounds, combined with Earl’s arhythmic delivery of abstract poetry, barely register as rap music in my mind. On paper, Earl is a gifted lyricist, though I think his best work is elsewhere. But his apathetic “cadence” renders whatever obscure statements he wishes to make ineffective, and the heap of praise he consistently receives (and likely will for this latest effort) reeks of pretentiousness.

Score: 4/10