Vision4K vs. The World!
The anticipation preceding Vision4K's, "Recluse," is comparable - albeit on a smaller scale - to that of Travis Scott's, "Astroworld". You would be hard pressed to find a fan of the underground who wasn't looking forward to the project. Its arrival has been teased for months, and after some delays, its finally arrived. A project of this scale and magnitude is hard to come by, especially in the underground, so in order to adequately cover, "Recluse," I will be doing a track by track review of the project. I hope to enhance and encourage your listening experience.
1. Gave Up (prod. Wildcard + Vision4K)
"Gave Up," the album's opening track, is a dark and ominous ballad with intricate production and emotive vocals. The track starts off with a subtle pad lead and drum loop, but is quickly met by an aggressive synth bass and Vision's somber vocals. Vision discusses his internal demons, and the fragility of opportunities. Near the mid point of the song, a punchy kick and slick 808 enter the mix, seamlessly fitting with Vision's swelling evocativeness. The track concludes how it starts off, but with a subtle hint of Vision's vocals mixed below the main melody. Overall, "Gave Up," is an anthemic, well constructed track, perfectly suited as the introduction to, "Recluse."
2. All My Life (feat. Fifty Grand) (prod. Wildcard + Vision4K)
The album's second track, "All My Life," is a cohesive and suitable follow-up to the album's opener. Its production is equally infectious, utilizing an ambient reverse melody and hard hitting 808s to accompany Vision's introspective lyrics. It includes a feature from Fifty Grand, who's usage of vocal crescendos and layering provide an adequate contrast to Vision's more melancholy delivery. With a sticky hook, smooth vocals, and uncompromising drum pattern, "All My Life," is a somber ballad with tons of replay value.
3. Puppet (prod. Wildcard + Vision4K)
With a catchy, bouncy lead melody and impressive performance from Vision, "Puppet," is a paradoxical reflection of being lovesick. The track's melody is overwhelmingly positive, directly contrasting the song's that preceded it, as well as Vision's vocal delivery. However, it fits, as Vision describes the gratification he feels from love in an unexpected manner. For instance, Vision says, "I'll be your host, you can be my disease," in order to shift the connotation typically associated with sickness. This approach to songwriting is clever and impressive, and should increase one's appreciation for the song exponentially.
4. Wasted (prod. Wildcard + Vision4K)
"Wasted," is an ode to drug-laced hedonism and excess, albeit with a touch of self-awareness. The track starts off with a gloomy bell loop, followed by spaced out, abrasive trap drums. Throughout the track, Vision's delivery is cold and trance-like, seemingly emulating a lullaby. His lyrics are simple, yet keen, ackowledging the fact that his desire for intoxicants comes from a place of pain, and that it has the potential to destroy his wellbeing. Furthermore, Vision personifies drugs throughout the song, thereby solidifying the track as a ballad to his desires and demons.
5. Joker's Song (prod. Vision4K)
The project's fifth track, "Joker's Song," makes use of panning laugh samples, ethereal vocal melodies, and booming 808s in order to accompany Vision's story of, "Joker". Joker appears to be an alter ego of Vision, or a reflection of what he is afraid to become. His delivery reveals this, in large part due to its painful edge and desolate feel. For the most part, the track feels isolated, direct, and personable, further reinforcing its role as a song made for - or possibly, by - Joker.
6. Dead or Alive (prod. Iankon)
"Dead or Alive," is the first track on, "Recluse," produced by neither Wildcard or Vision4K, which serves as a testament to the cohesiveness of the project. Nonetheless, Iankon's production fits seamlessly within the context of the album. Its simple lead melody, sparse usage of slowed drum patterns, and bouncy 808s give space for Vision to perform his trademark melodies. The subject matter is largely dichotomous, addressing how Vision only feels, "alive," when he's, "fucked out his mind." This sentiment is echoed on, "Wasted," and serves as a motif throughout the album.
7. Undead (prod. Wildcard + Lukrative)
With production from Wildcard and Lukrative, "Undead," feels like a requisite sequel to, "Dead or Alive." With regards to subject matter, "Undead," feels like a return to reality, a state where - even though Vision isn't dead - he doesn't necessarily feel alive either. This, along with Vision's refrain of, "I don't think its worth it," gives off an uncertain and faintly apathetic vibe. Its production echoes these sentiments, utilizing a subtly distorted piano lead and rattling hi-hats in order to reflect the liminality of Vision's life.
8. Bad (prod. Gin$eng)
"Bad," sees Vision at his most introspective and solitary, consistently reflecting on his lack of a home, and feelings as an outcast. Its production is relatively unique, trading the ethereal piano-like melodies of its predecessors for a poignant, orchestral lead. It goes on to feature spacious trap drums with panning snares and pitch-shifted hats, which ultimately provide Vision enough space to smoothly ride the track. The track concludes with Vision saying, "I've been waiting on my own, my soul never had a home," further emphasizing the lonely atmosphere of the song.
9. Picking Scars (prod. Wildcard)
With a smooth guitar melody, prominent tambourine sample, and distinct instrumental breakdown, "Picking Scars," features some of the best production on, "Recluse". It's bouncy, yet focused, and provides a refreshing change in melodic pace. Vision's performance is great as well, smoothly changing flows during verses, and delivering a catchy hook that reveals more of his vocal range. With regards to subject matter, Vision continues to impress with his simple, yet witty metaphors, most evident by the tracks title, which symbolizes one's internalized desire to remove something permanent.
10. Goodbye, Goodnight (prod. Vision4K)
"Goodbye, Goodnight," the final track on, "Recluse," features some of the most unique, and cautiously optimistic production on the whole album. The song utilizes a sample of, "34 Ghosts IV," by Nine Inch Nails, a simple, pop-like drum pattern, and a more hopeful - alebit circumspect - Vision. Vision reveals a more hopeful side, one that encourages his friends to wipe their tears, and averts the self-aspersion of tracks like, "Bad." Overall, its a fitting end to the album, one that still acknowledges the pain and regret of its predecessors, but provides an ounce of hope.
Ultimately, "Recluse," is a cohesive, personable album that features dark, menacing production, consistently great vocal performances from Vision, and emotive lyrical motifs. Its maturity is astounding, and one can feel the blood, sweat, and tears put into this album upon first listen. Thus far, it is one of the best projects of 2019, and serves as a symbol of Vision's growth, talent, and ability to create emotionally dense music that is easy to relate to.
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