So, have you heard that The Internet is releasing another album this summer? And no, I don’t mean the actual internet. I mean the R&B band and…..I should refresh your minds on who they are, right?
The Internet is a Los Angeles-based R&B band, known to be part of the now inactive collective Odd Future, consisting of members Christopher Smith on drums, Patrick Paige on bass guitar, Matt Martians on keyboards and vocals, Steve Lacy on guitar and vocals (since 2015) and of course, the lead singer of the band Syd (fka Syd the Kid). The group had their start around 2011, and they have released 3 previous albums since then. While I eventually went back to listen to them, the album that originally got me into them was their third album Ego Death, which was around the time Odd Future was starting to fade. The album garnered a Grammy nomination in 2016 for Best Alternative R&B Album but lost to The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness.
I admit that the one song from that album that got me into the band was “Girl,” which also featured (and was produced by) Haitian-Canadian DJ/record producer Kaytranada (and Syd also appeared on his debut album and my 2016 album of the year 99.9%), and I really loved that song. I know their sound is very groove-driven, and I’ve been liking that type of R&B for some time now. Hearing their singles for the album got me interested in more of it.
So, how did it turn out?
Well, we know what they told us the album was going to be….
No skits, no interludes, no features. 1 hour of straight music. Hive Mind is out Friday
— The INTERNET (@intanetz) July 17, 2018
Yup, they produced the whole thing with no features at all, and an hour of some smooth jams? Yeah, sign me up. I got what I wanted from them and with only 13 tracks as well. Things definitely went off well with the first few tracks, and “Come Together” is a such a strong opening for this album, especially the way the bass was played there, and the use of Syd and Steve Lacy on vocals sounded so mesmerizing. Following it up with the single “Roll (Burbank Funk),” that joint has the sound of a 1970s hip hop groove to it that makes you want to dance. Things slow down a bit with the following cut “Come Down” which is more down-tempo, and the inspiration for this song is Syd on how a home-girl of hers doesn’t want her to come over sometimes. Oh, and there’s a nice Steve Lacy verse near the end of the song.
Now I just mentioned the first 3 tracks on here as those are the singles, and the rest of the album is as it follows. You get that summery, chill vibe throughout this whole album with the band’s usual off-kilter production style with a melodic soulful blend, although some songs beyond the first 3 are ones I can play in the background. However, I did find more tracks on here that really stuck with me like “Bravo”, “Mood,” and “Next Time/Humble Pie,” although the “Humble Pie” part of that track really stuck to me the most with that production, the swell of it and Syd’s vocals. “Wanna Be” is another good track with this summery island beat and Syd singing about her anxiety issues over a crush on a current friend. However, “The Beat Goes On” does have Steve Lacy, Matt Martians and Marcus Lee taking lead on the vocals and taking a bit of inspiration of The Whispers’ song of that same name.
All-in-all, Hive Mind does stick to what it promises from that tweet and it makes for an album full of vibin’ R&B smooth jams. The production on it is still the signature off-kilter yet soulful vibe we get from them, and while some tracks may not be all that memorable and just fade into the background, the best tracks still shine in the end and makes an enjoyable listen throughout.
FINAL VERDICT: Stream it. This mind is telling you the Hive Mind got something good going on there.
Oh, and while this wasn’t on the album, this is still a cool remix.
Hive Mind is available on Columbia Records on CD, digital download, streaming services and Vinyl.