Album Review: Night Lovell’s GOODNIGHT LOVELL (2019 LP) does the job, but still falls a little short

Night Lovell has remained an underground heavyweight in the trap scene, with dark and harrowing production, with booming bass and some emo-inspired elements. Lovell deploys quick flows over these gruesome instrumentals, with all the trace elements of typical flex rapping, but altered to fit a completely different mood.

With this new album, Lovell is looking to further propel himself in the rap scene, having garnered a lot of attention with projects like Concept Vague and Red Teenage Melody. Both prior projects featured cerebral basslines and expansive production, feeling like a layer of fog settling over a punk show.

On first glance, many of track names resemble what would be scrawled into the notebook of an emo-phase adolescent as they twirl their pen and listen to My Chemical Romance – songs like “BAD KID” and “LET ME DIE” capture the angst of our collective emo phase, but rejuvenates the sound, pivoting it towards a blend of hip hop, punk, and at time more experimental elements.

The album is structured quite simply, with most tracks featuring a quiet intro that transitions into a wall of sounds, a few verses, and then a fade back to nothing. The empty space between the transitions at the front and back ends of the album are an interesting choice, as the verses seem to pop out from the ethereal production, although often the lapses in time between tracks is enough for some of Lovell’s momentum to evaporate. Yes, the album may evoke feelings of moodiness and emotion, but the gaps in between a lot of Lovell’s content often falls flat as there simply isn’t enough going on between his rap performances to provide a strong backbone to the album as a whole.

Regardless of this structural issue, the delivery and performances across the album is consistent and deft – Lovell’s nightmarishly dark voice drip with reverb and fills cracks in the beats, permeating throughout the project.

“BUMBLEBEE” is a standout track, with a beat that rolls over itself beautifully, with each muted bass drum acting as a conduit for the next section of the instrumental to flow into. The song is quite dynamic, and has greater progression and variation than a lot of the other tracks on the album.

“JOAN OF ARC” also stands at the top of the rankings for this album – the dark yet digital track is assisted by the Soundcloud icons $uicideboy$, forming a ridiculously dark combination, deploying spiralling flows over distortion and warped basslines.

All things considered, this new album by Night Lovell is a formidable release, and definitely reflects a lot of his skill, acting as a rationale for his success to date. Despite this, GOODNIGHT LOVELL could benefit from a greater attention to detail in how the album is constructed, as although it’s an enjoyable listen, it has less of the air of intoxication that previous projects had, as well as lacking sufficient activity to keep the project moving.

TWO AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

GOODNIGHT LOVELL is available now.

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