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Album Review: Feet of Clay by Earl Sweatshirt

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About a year after his last major solo album, Earl Sweatshirt comes out with a surprise EP titled Feet of Clay. This marks the second EP in his career. The EP is fairly short with seven tracks and clocking in at just 15 minutes in length. Many fans have joked that the album cover looks like a cover for a death metal band.

The first track off the album is 74. The beat for the track is simplistic with an electronic-like piano playing in the background with industrial-sounding drum beats. Earl basically raps about what has been going on since the release of Some Rap Songs. I understand that Earl gets off beat sometimes and that is his style, but it just sounds lazy on this track.

I am glad I am not the only one who thought EAST was a joke track at first. It has an eastern music sound to it, with an accordion-like instrument and string instruments. Oddly, Earl's voice fits over the instrumental, but the beat does get annoying and stale quickly. It's unique but gets on your nerves after a few listens. Earl talks about death and loss on this track. He talks about losing his girlfriend, as well as his father and grandmother.

Finally, MTOMB gave me a breath of hope for this album. This track has a darker sounding sample in the background. On the track, he talks about his depression as well as losing his father. Earl talks about dealing with depression in a lot of his songs which many of his fans can connect with.

Next, we have OD. As the name insists, Earl talks about drugs and his struggle with alcoholism. He also mentions a friend overdosing, which could be referring to Mac Miller who died of an accidental overdose a little over a year ago.

EL TORO COMBO MEAL contains a distorted soulful track sample. Just like the rest of the EP, Earl continues with the dark theme. Mavi comes on this track and really brings some emotion into his verse. Towards the end of his verse, you can really hear the emotion he was trying to pour out. Earl Sweatshirt talks about how he is a different person than what he used to be and how he can be himself now.

After that, we have TISK TISK / COOKIES which is a two-part track. TISK TISK talks about knowing someone before they turned on him. It turns out that the person he knew turned into a snitch. The second part, COOKIES, seems a little more laid back and you can hear that in his rapping. However, he is talking about the loss of his father in the second part.

The last track and longest track on the EP is 4N. The majority of the track includes a bass playing in the background with some other jazz-inspired instruments. In the first verse, we have Mach-Hommy and then Earl comes in with the second verse. The production of Earl's verse seems of low quality. While I understand it is an EP, I would have expected better from someone as big as Earl Sweatshirt. Despite that, the track ends with the same bass guitar that has been playing through the entire track.

While it's easy to see Earl's music has gotten more experimental, darker, and shorter over the years, it's not something I have been drawn into. It's sad to see that his Doris days and Earl (debut mixtape) days are over. However, it is good to see that he is growing as an artist and is making music the type of music he wants to make.
Overall Rating: 4/10
Favorite Tracks: MTOMB, 4N

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