Lil Yatchy’s new album disappoints

Abbott Lackey, Of The Talon staff

After releasing his hit single “Poland” in October of 2022, Lil Yachty started looking for a new territory, reporting that he “wanted to be taken seriously as an artist, not just some SoundCloud rapper.” In his newest release Let’s Start Here, Yachty attempts to pivot into a psychedelic and experimental album but the endeavor ends up feeling overall manufactured and trite. 

Opener “the BLACK seminole.” utilizes wailing guitars with hard-hitting dusty drums to set the tone of the album. The track introduces Yachty’s unique auto-tune soaked vocals, similar to the sound of singing into a box fan for the effect of a distorted robot. Calling to influences like Pink Floyd, the 7-minute song launches the listener into an astral listening experience, the perfect preparation to the remaining tracks. Later on, the spoken-word cut “:(failure(:” stands out by breaking up the high-energy hype of previous tracks. Although the song can be appreciated for the much needed variety it brings to Let’s Start Here., its attempt at seeming introspective and spontaneous ends up sounding rehearsed and flat. The album’s closing track “REACH THE SUNSHINE.” starts with dissonant and echoey vocals, pulling together a surprisingly grounded feel. The track quickly transitions into a wave of lush synth and cavernous reverb that unites Let’s Start Here.’s previous tracks and wraps them with a neat bow. 

The 57 minute run time of Let’s Start Here. comes off as disappointingly excessive, especially considering how many tracks feel repetitive. With a strong start and finish, the album has some stand-out moments that make a full listen worthwhile. When you factor in the seamless transitions between songs that give the album a refreshingly concise feel, it could almost be an automatic favorite. However, the majority of mid-album tracks are obvious filler which make for a much less enjoyable, even irritating, listening experience.

Lil Yachty bounces around from genre and style without ever losing his own personal sound, something most artists yield when they branch out musically. Although the goal of Let’s Start Here. is to be experimental and distinct, its blend of Tame Impala-esque funk and millennial synth-pop comes off as so commercial and digestible that it doesn’t feel experimental at all. There’s nothing wrong with making an album that doesn’t sound unique. However, when you pride yourself on bringing something new to the table then release the same tracks that have been consistent radio hits since 2012’s Lonerism, it comes off as stale and overdone.