SiR - November Album Review
For the past couple of years, there has been no record label as prolific as Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE). TDE has put out quality album after quality album from their star-studded lineup. From Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city to SZA’s Ctrl, TDE cannot help but drop albums that are album of the year contenders year after year. In 2017 alone they had both Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. and SZA’s Ctrl fighting it out for spots in the top ten of most lists.
That makes expectations around the record label astronomical. Not every album is To Pimp a Butterfly, but the albums TDE puts out always feel like they push the boundaries of the genre they exist in. In comes SiR, an artist from Inglewood, Calif., signed to the label in 2017. After dropping an EP in 2017 titled HER TOO, SiR is back with November. Although SiR belongs to one of the most forward-thinking labels currently working, his first album for TDE attempts to ride several musical waves unsuccessfully.
The one sound that works wonders for SiR is one very similar to Anderson .Paak. The similarities can possibly be attributed to them growing up in areas not too far from one another, but it is a sound SiR accomplishes fairly well.
The production of “Something Foreign,” with its soothing piano chords, match SiR perfectly. This is the case for most of the production on the front half of the album. Many of the instrumentals are jazz inspired and work for the sound that it seems SiR is trying to accomplish.
Outside of less than a handful of tracks though, SiR does not seem to really have much of a direction in what he is trying to do with this album. The themes are either muddled or not clear at all. It feels as if SiR heard some things he liked from other artists and tried to put them into this album without truly considering if he should.
Take for instance the computer like narration at points throughout the album. To put it bluntly, SiR copied an idea from Logic. Over several of Logic’s albums, he has featured a computerized narrator that goes by the name Thalia.
She has acted as the expositional voice on several of his albums. On November, there seems to be a similar person narrating throughout the album by the name of Kate. She adds virtually nothing to the album and her addition is bizarre.
Another odd choice by SiR is some of the distortions of his voice that is seen at times. The best example of this “I Know.” How “I Know” made it out of the studio and on to an album is mind-blowing. The song sounds like someone trying to make a Travis Scott song and not having the time or resources to do so. It is truly one of the worst songs that will come out in 2017.
Despite all of the bad, the other saving grace for this album is lyrical content. SiR, a man who is married in real life, captures much of the nuances of love, while also addressing some potential past discretions of his own. Lyrical content alone is not enough anymore though. This album is so disjointed, from production to direction, that it is a hard listen. SiR seems like he has a lot of potential and with TDE behind him, it is likely he reaches that potential. But for now, he can just chalk this one up as a massive loss.
David Arroyo is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism