By Lane Moore, Contributor
Key tracks: “Life is Beautiful”, “Fingers”
Lil Peep’s first posthumous record, Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2, resembles found footage that was sculpted into a full project by Peep’s producer, Smokeasac. Whether it is the result of the record’s unfinished, puzzle-piece complexion or Smokeasac’s tampering, Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2 is completely lacking in finesse, skill and articulation.
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This is not a doubt of the authenticity to Lil Peep’s depression, nor is it an attempt to insult those who have found meaning within his songs. The fact of the matter is that this album is not objectively good. Its dreadful simplicity suggests that Peep and a few others sat down and thought “Hmm, what would make people think I’m really sad?” Then, they decided that doing so required too much effort, so they ripped off Metallica instead.
Rather than sampling Mineral without permission (this happened), Peep and his team stole the guitar riff from the intro of Metallica’s “One” for the track “16 Lines”. It’s not even a sample, it’s just the same riff tuned a step or so down with zero cunning or craftiness. The point of stealing is to get away with it, but honest Peep does allegedly wear his heart on his sleeve.
As for these “heart-on-sleeve” lyrics, Lil Peep gets the formula right twice. On “Life is Beautiful”, an abrupt orchestral bit and a unique use of synthesizers complement the solid phrasing and bars, allowing listeners to enjoy the record for a brief moment. Likewise, “Fingers” is a chilling track, especially due to the record’s context as a posthumous release. In a somber exhibit of self-doubt, the line “I’m not gonna last long” repeats inside of an eerie chorus and reminds Lil Peep’s fans of who is lost forever. Throughout the album, Peep shares his constant fear of being hated and the reality of his relationship with drugs. These still frames alone make the album worth hearing.
Aside from these instances, the sensational melodrama of Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2 resembles a scene in which two kids are breaking up during a middle school recess. The scene, metal-esque lyrics such as “She was the one with the broken smile / Now that it’s done, she was the one / She was the one that was worth my time” on “Broken Smile” are just … gross. If overdone, lifeless wailing isn’t unsettling enough, then the “sad boy” mumble-rap misogyny will certainly activate gag reflexes. Whining things like “I wonder who you’ll fuck when I die” (“16 Lines”) is merely an extravagant display of manipulation.
Sonically, Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2 is straightforward. When Peep strays from his mind-numbing groaning, his unrefined vocal techniques transform into a mixture of recycled melodies and lyrics from Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 1. Every beat is essentially the same, and the droning of unintelligible alt-rock guitar and drums makes 45 minutes feel like two hours. It invokes the question of whether or not rapping on a beat over 85 bpm is possible for Peep.
This album is Lil Peep’s catharsis and his release, and I can respect that. The rare occasions in which listeners hear more of Peep’s heart and less of a producer’s attempt to perfect a “sad boy” aesthetic are truly moving. However, the mere premise of a project being someone’s emotional outlet is not enough to reap a reward. This is not a harvest – it’s the hollowed-out husk of a failed attempt at what could have been.