Denzel Curry: TA13OO Album Review

Story posted October 25, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by Zach Hall

Denzel Curry released his third studio album TA13OO on July 27th, 2018. The album received critical acclaim across the board. Denzel Curry is known for his exuberant energy and exciting flow, all of which is present on TA13OO. The album explores multiple facets of Curry’s life, from his troubled youth to his rising success. Curry is successful in portraying his personal life across the album, all while making the project enjoyable from start to finish, with little to no hiccups along the way.

TA13OO is divided up into three acts: light, gray, and dark. Across 13 tracks, Denzel Curry raps about a variety of deeply personal topics such as molestation, paranoia, hatred and love. Along with getting personal, Curry gives his opinions on the 2016 election and the current state of the music industry. Curry has a lot to say on TA13OO, and for the most part, he succeeds in implementing each idea and avoiding the album sounding cluttered. By dividing the album up into three acts, Curry is able to keep these ideas contained into their respective sections. The contrast between the first track “Taboo” and the last track “Black Metal Terrorist” is staggering, starting with a slow melodic ballad and ending with a loud and abrasive reaffirmation of Curry’s view of himself. While each section helps break up the album's themes, there isn’t too much of a contrast between the three. The first and last track show the most contrast, but the tracks in between aren’t different enough to give each section a distinct feel. Despite this, TA13OO is able to touch on a variety of subjects without sounding unorganized. The emotional weight of some of these topics is helped by Curry’s fantastic flow and attention demanding energy. Whether it be more soft-spoken or abrasive, Curry is able to make each song sound unique, keeping the album moving forward from track to track.

Sonically, TA13OO is just as entertaining. There's a good mix of melodic centric tracks as well as tracks that feature coarse synths and heavy bass. The instrumentals on TA13OO help the album sound fresh from start to finish, with each track having its own aesthetic. From thrashing head-bangers to emotional introspection, the sonics on TA13OO offer a nice amount of variety, complimenting the variety present on the themes. The only issue with the instrumentals on TA13OO is the same present in the albums three-act structure. The light, gray and dark sections of the album don’t sound different enough to make each one sound unique. While the variety is a great touch, it could’ve been implemented better to make each act sound unique enough to warrant a three-act structure. Despite some of these issues, TA13OO sounds great from start to finish.

With TA13OO, Denzel Curry proves that he’s an artist to watch. With a variety of emotion, confidence and energy, TA13OO makes for Curry’s most refined project to date. The three-act structure helps organize the themes of the album but isn’t as effective as it could be. Each of the three acts isn’t different enough sonically to make them sound distinct. In the future, if Curry is able to employ the same structure to his album while making each act sound distinct, he has the potential to craft an even better album than TA13OO already is.

Rating: 8/10

 

Zach Hall is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email zth5043@psu.edu.