Album Review: clipping. – Visions of Bodies Being Burned

By: Kwase Lane, Features Editor
[Sub Pop Records; 2020]
Rating: 5/10


Key Tracks:
“’96 Neve Campbell”, “Looking Like Meat”, “Eaten Alive”

clipping.’s commitment to fictional perspectives could be really interesting if Daveed Diggs bothered to put any energy into his delivery. Visions of Bodies Being Burned is a testament to how flaccid an album can be if the artist sounds terribly bored by the concept of making music. Every featured artist rides the beat far better than Diggs ever allows himself to, much to the album’s detriment. This project’s production is as unique as ever, but I can’t help but find myself wishing anybody else was responsible for rapping over it.

Read more: Album Review: Machinedrum – A View of U

“’96 Neve Campbell” features a respectable performance from Cam & China, but unfortunately, this track’s production is slightly lacking. The piece being an homage to actress Neve Campbell’s performance in Scream and the final girl trope is excellent in concept, but it feels more like a bunch of corny punchlines fitted into a song that’s not fully committed to the idea.

“Looking Like Meat” consists of blaring bass that is antithetical to Digg’s even keel delivery. Sharing a beat with Ho99o9 doesn’t do him any favors either. The latent aggression hiding behind twinkling synths is brought to the forefront by theOGM and Eaddy’s irate, irreverent delivery. They sound like they actually give a damn. Somehow, I’m less threatened by Daveed Diggs saying he’ll rip my face off and wear it than I am by Ho99o9, saying that my girl only listens to Sheck Wes.

“Eaten Alive” consists of random creaks and oddly placed guitar strums that are supremely unnerving. Digg’s lines are randomly interrupted by crashing piano. This is one of the only pieces on the album where it doesn’t feel like the experimental production is carrying the vocals. Digg’s voice becomes an anchor in a sea of discordance in a way that this project sorely lacked before.

Half of the tracks on this project sound like someone doing spoken word poetry as a six-car pileup occurs behind them. Digg’s almost always fails to match the explosive energy found on the majority of the album’s tracks. The more quietly unsettling songs suit him much better, but the pieces that do that on this project never quite march the caliber of pieces that have the same tone on There Existed an Addiction to Blood.

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