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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Music

Review: The Jet Age of Tomorrow’s ‘Jellyfish Mentality’


Duo producers Matt Martians and Hal Williams form the alternative hip-hop group The Jet Age of Tomorrow. The two are known for nonchalant, indie-jazz material with a touch of alternative hip-hop beats but have honed their sound and garnered attention with “The Journey to the 5th Echelon” and “Voyager,” two previous albums full of memorable tracks.

“The Jellyfish Mentality” seems to cover itself in a futuristic, deep underwater alternate universe. Most of the production that Martians and Williams have inserted into this album sound like a subtle, swift, jive-like hidden world of Atlantis that harbors attractive venues, each catering to everyone’s tastes, especially the Odd Future audience.

With the subject matter cleverly recalling life surrounded by women and drugs, Mac Miller and Speaks’ witty lyric contribution on “Juney Jones” is solid, but the unremarkable production somewhat kills the mood, especially during the verses of the song. Even the smooth piano chord during the chorus doesn’t save it. The same thing goes for tracks like “One Take” featuring Sweatshirt and former label mate Cassie Veggies.

On the contrary, the beats in “Naked” featuring Hodgy Beats and “Wonderful World” by Domo Genesis and Vince Staples are beautifully crafted with the latter being the best hip-hop track in the album. The trashcan-sounding drum set makes the track epic. It’s hard to go wrong with Genesis and Staples at the top of their game.

Jet Age took a Justin Timberlake approach with some tracks incorporating seamless jazz transitions and others with abrupt stops and restarts in between. “Lily Pads” serves as a prime example as the track begins with snappish drums and recurring bass-lines. It transitions into an eclectic downbeat breakdown filled with chopped samples laced with orchestral strings. This type of instrumental layout seems to echo through tracks like “Special K (Wombat)” and “ON!”

Perhaps the best tracks on this album come from Jet Age’s mash up of trademark hauntingly eerie Odd Future sounds and jazz elements. “Desert N’ The Dark” featuring dreamy vocalization by The Stepkids and the sentimental track, “A Place Where Lovers Go,” with vocals from Jesse Boykins III, provide lounge-friendly tracks that may remind listeners of coffee shops where jazz music and poetry slams are held. Both are fluid works of art that emit a relaxing vibe.

The album doesn’t do anything wrong, but it also doesn’t challenge itself to be anything that it’s not and that’s okay. The Jet Age of Tomorrow remains to be artists who do well under the radar. The free LP project serves as an addition to their illustrious career of baring nothing but luscious, exquisite imagination.

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