blackbear is such an intriguing artist. Musically, he straddles the line between pop and hip-hop quite a bit, and content-wise, he pours his heart out just as much as he speaks about some braggadocios s**t. In “ANONYMOUS,” his latest effort, the “do re mi” singer only pours his heart out, giving us a body of work that I truly believe will bring a tear to your eyes.”
5. SICK OF IT ALL
It sounds like blackbear has finally given up on life on “Sick Of It All.”
Even though the instrumental behind “Sick Of It All” is hard-hitting and has an outstanding bop attached to it, it doesn’t stop blackbear from pouring out his heart, as on his verses/the hook, he talks about being sick of everything from his girl to his
dog thoughts to his house. While I f**k with the infectious melody and soulful singing he was able to do on the song, I did find his lyrical content pretty troubling. How the f**k can you be sick of your dog, blackbear? You got a pug, bro? Bear actually says thoughts (not dog) here! Thanks for the clear-up, Elle, because that s**t worried me a lot!
4. SWEAR TO GOD
“Swear To God” features this riveting instrumental that has several different faces to it. Over this instrumental, blackbear pours his heart out once again (common theme), talking about depression that was caused by heartbreak. While his voice is primarily complaint-sounding, I do think he shows off this passionate sound singing-wise that is truly engaging.
Can someone point blackbear to Dr. Phil? It’s clear he needs intricate advice on how to deal with a relationship.
“HIGH1X” is a song I would love to hear at a pool party in Vegas. With producer Twice As Nice hooking up blackbear with quite a dynamic instrumental, the Pennsylvania-bred singer/songwriter shines, gifting us with catchy lines and infectious melodies to describe the many ways he’s smashing chicks and balling out of this universe. In my opinion, everything he does on this track is hot fire.
Is this the only song blackbear comes across as happy?
2. HATE MY GUTS
“HATE MY GUTS” is a fantastic song! Production-wise, it gives off pool party vibes; singing-wise, it gives off smooth vibes; content-wise, it gives off juicy vibes. When you combine the three vibes together, what you get is a accidental hit that has an outstanding melody, meaningful content and replay-ability written all over it.
If a song called “HATE MY GUTS” gets popular in the club, I would have a ball! Can you imagine n***as requesting a song called “HATE MY GUTS” to the DJ
1. 1 SIDED LOVE
In “1 SIDED LOVE,” blackbear gives us something pretty powerful, singing passionately about dealing with this chick that isn’t willing to listen to him when they have disagreements. Personally, I love how deep the song is, how it morphs from an acoustic effort to a bit of a banger, and most importantly, how particular blackbear’s lyrics are on it.
I think this song is important to the grand scheme of the album.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. PINK ROLEX (4/5)
2. HATE MY GUTS (5/5)
3. DRUG DEALER (4/5)
4. SWEAR TO GOD (4.5/5)
5. MAKE A MESS (4.5/5)
6. SICK OF IT ALL (4.5/5)
7. CHANGES (4.5/5)
8. HIGH1X (5/5)
9. DOWN (4/5)
10. BURNT AF (3.5/5)
11. HEARTBROKEN (4/5)
12. 1 SIDED LOVE (5/5)
13. LOSING YOU (4.5/5)
14. ITS ALL GONNA BURN (3.5/5)
15. DEAD BALLOONS (4.5/5)
16. TOO CLOSE (4/5)
17. DEAD TO ME (3.5/5)
18. NYLA (4/5)
There’s something about us as human-beings that loves heartbreak and struggle. In “ANONYMOUS,” blackbear primarily covers these topics, showing little to no fear of coming across as deranged, troubled and confused. Though I should probably pick up the phone and call 911 for him after listening to the album, my immediate response was to give him props.
While I truly believe blackbear’s strongest suit is his writing (Which I will dive into in the next paragraph), I thought he put up a pretty solid performance singing-wise on this album. With his raspy voice and occasional hip-hop accent, he displayed great passion and emotion, stressing his voice when he needed to, while also reaching some pretty high-pitches vocally. But for the most part, he kept things simple, discussing his misery using this cold and lowly tone.
The writing on this album is fantastic! Throughout listening to it, I constantly felt like I was hearing a diary of a miserable individual. The feelings blackbear described throughout were exact, his explanations on why and how he got to the porous state that he was in was descriptive, and most importantly, the way he showed his vulnerability was fragile and touching. Never once did I question whether or not his words were real, which is a true testament to how authentic everything felt.
Production-wise, I loved what I heard on this album! What you got was deep instrumentals, legit club bangers and commercial pop beats —
all served to you with a splash of lonely vibes. Before you call me a sicko for enjoying beats that have lonely vibes to it, understand that I am a man that loves to hear a consistent tone and feel when it comes to a body of work, and when it comes to consistent tones, this album nailed the test!
blackbear is a singer that has quite the cult following, and I understand why — he’s versatile, a great writer and excellent when it comes to delivering melodies. But I strongly believe it’s his ability to relate with a group of listeners that aren’t quite hip-hop fans/aren’t quite pop fans that makes him special. Not only does he bridge the gap between both genres masterfully, but he also knows how to word his problems in a way that is gentle enough for pop, and raw enough for hip-hop. Who’s ready to call blackbear a unicorn?
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.