The Internet - 'Hive Mind' Album Review
It’s strange, by the time their fourth studio album came around I always assumed that The Internet would have blown up and become a household name after the incredible Ego Death in 2016. Yet here we are, 2018, and I still feel like they don’t get the attention and respect they deserve as in my mind, they have always been leading the charge in the new wave of alternative R&B and funk resurgence. For the fans, there was a lot riding on Hive Mind as it was following up one of the best R&B albums of the decade, and I’m thrilled to say that once again The Internet provide a smooth, glistening album, full of the familiar vocals of Syd and Steve Lacy, but this time with a bit more of a kick as the bass grooves and drum loops are turned up to 11.
With 5 members, The Internet have never struggled to fill the audio space of a song and nowhere is this more clear than on Hive Mind as every song feels spacious and full of audio bliss as every note feels so tight and clean, making the 50 minute run time fly by in a heartbeat. Out of the gate you are greeted with the incredible bass guitar work of Patrick Paige II on ‘Come Together’. With a melodic clapping and angelic synth backing him up, there is no room for anything else as the group fill the space completely. The choir-like chorus fades into the next track ‘Roll (Burbank Funk)’ one of my favourites on the album. This track has been out for a few months now as the first single for Hive Mind but it honestly feels like it’s been stuck in my head so much longer. I CANNOT get that bass-line out of my head and I dare anyone to listen to it and not be humming Steve Lacy & Syd’s infectiously simple chorus for days on end. This track is indicative of the more melodic and upbeat approach that can be seen on Hive Mind that suits the group well.
In terms of instrumentation and vocal performance I can honestly say that it is flawless throughout as Syd and Steve Lacy’s vocals never get tiresome and the beats are consistently engaging, the only part of this album that does begin to wear thin by the end of the album is the lyrical content. Don’t get me wrong, I’m down for a love song as much as the next guy but 50 minutes of pure romantic songwriting inevitably begins to lose its romance towards the end. Syd’s songwriting always manages to sound so genuine and personal, however I might just be grumpy and bitter as the samey-lyrics begin to get less and less endearing.
Despite the repetitive lyrics, Hive Mind is a fun, catchy and fantastic album that sees alternative R&B at its peak, as beautiful bass-lines and glowing synths converge into a energetic and summery LP that will stick in your head for months to come.
Listen to the album in full below: