Milo: budding ornithologists are weary of tired analogies Album Review

Story posted September 26, 2018 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Zach Hall

Art-rap darling Milo has made a name for himself over the years by putting out projects that highlight his charismatic personality and stellar vocabulary. Milo’s discography is full of abstract rap that breaks conventions and expectations. Sometimes Milo can take it too far and come off as being abstract for the sake of being abstract. Other times, Milo finds a perfect blend of witty lyrics and unique production that still doesn’t shy away from his abstract style. Milo’s newest effort, budding ornithologists are weary of tired analogies, falls somewhere in the middle. Milo’s newest project is polished and full of his signature wit but fails to do anything new or inventive, leaving it feeling underwhelming.

Milo has never been one muster up any kind of grand concept or thematic knot to tie his albums together, and budding ornithologists are weary of tired analogies is no different. Throughout the album’s 15 tracks, Milo does what Milo does best, proving that at any given time he’s one of the smartest guys in the room. While there is no overarching theme that ties the album together, Milo makes up for it by filling each song to the brim with clever metaphors, double entendres, and witty references to make any abstract art rap fan giddy with excitement. Another highlight on the project is Milo’s fantastic flow, one that has seen gradual improvement over his last few projects. Milo’s delivery has an aura of wit and confidence that demands attention, giving each lyric a sense of purpose. However, while Milo’s signature style is a joy to listen to for most of the album, the problems come in when you begin to compare it to his last few albums, especially 2017’s Who Told You To Think??!!?!?!?!. Milo doesn’t take nearly as many risks on his newest project, playing it safe and delivering a project that is base level Milo. Budding ornithologists are weary of tired analogies would’ve done better by taking ideas brought up on Milo’s previous album and expanding upon them. Instead, Milo seems to be regressing into a safer artistic space, one that gives him more freedom to explore with his other artistic ventures (Scallops Hotel and Nostrum Grocers).

The same can be said for the production on this project. Each beat is polished and fits right in with Milo’s abstract art rap style. There’s a mix laid back lo-fi hip hop beats and sample-heavy tracks featuring a heavy amount of chopped up piano and a few audio samples. While the majority of these beats sound great, problems arise when listening to each song back to back. There is a serious lack of variety and creativity with a lot of these beats, which is a shame compared to Milo’s previous efforts affinity for finding weird and inventive instrumentals that complimented his abstract style. Each track feels like a slight variation of the track that came before it, with a few standout exceptions like “thinking while eating a handful of almonds,” “deposition regarding the green horse for rap,” and a few others. With a little more variety and creativity with some of these tracks, the album could’ve been a lot more fun to listen to.

All in all, budding ornithologists are weary of tired analogies is a project with a ton of good qualities, but not enough substance or variety to make it stand out. Milo’s signature abstract style and fantastic delivery make each track a joy to listen to, but only every once in a while. It’s tough to recommend a listen from start to finish due to this lack of variety, which is a shame considering Milo’s undeniable talents. Going into his next venture, if Milo, a.k.a Scallops Hotel, a.k.a one half on Nostrum Grocers can make a project that sticks with his signature style and wit all while crafting a project that’s inventive and varied, he has the potential to have a special album on his hands.

7/10    

 

Zach Hall is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email zth5043@psu.edu.