I’ll admit, I didn’t really like Danny Brown’s music before Thursday. His voice was a little grating, his production didn’t always match his style, and like, where’s his tooth?
My opinion on Danny Brown, however, was forever changed Thursday when I spent a few early morning hours working on an unexpectedly-difficult paper. I decided to try out ‘Really Doe’ off Danny’s new album Atrocity Exhibition, mostly because it had a Kendrick feature. That song was catchy, fun and unique, so I let the rest of the album play, and was rewarded with one of the most unique albums I’ve heard in years.
Now, don’t misunderstand; unique does not necessarily mean good. Again, some songs don’t fit the album very well and Danny’s voice is still a little grating, but the concepts and sounds that Atrocity Exhibition brings to the table are, like, hypnotic. The hours spent writing about how I understand communities in Geneva went by in a blur, lost in Danny’s thematic, ever-pulsing bass.
Even the album’s flaws seem to understand themselves. Most of the more ‘label friendly’ stuff (like ‘Really Doe’) that doesn’t really match the tone of the songs to come makes up the first quarter of the album- which packs a full 15 tracks. From this easier entry-point, the album delves down into a much darker, more experimental sound that I can truly say I have never heard before. The production ranges from the more familiar, panicked delivery Danny’s become known for to wide, haunting, bass-driven beats that can steal your subconscious if you don’t pay attention.
Atrocity Exhibition is an album not unlike Radiohead’s classic Kid A, not necessarily in terms of genre, but in how you listen to them. Both albums have this hypnotic ability to tell a story or convey an experience entirely through music. Atrocity Exhibition gets progressively darker and more unsettling as the music Danny throws at you get stranger, but like Kid A the sense of discomfort you get from the songs is often beautiful.So, in short, check this album out. It’s worth your 45 minutes, I promise.