Surf” is the debut album by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment that was released towards the closing of May. The Social Experiment band stars Chance The Rapper and this project was heavily anticipated due to Chance’s previous successes.
As an unexpected release, “Surf” was downloaded 618,000 times within the first week. But despite the success, I don’t think the numbers equate to the quality of the sound. Although “Surf” was not a bad project, I don’t think that it reached its potential.
One of the major problems with “Surf” is that the record does not play in a cohesive manner. It is understandable when an artist desires to incorporate different sounds throughout the project, but usually the records tie into each other. The project lacks the ability to mesh well together. Sonic cohesion seamed to be problematic for the album because this caused a lack of replay value. Individually, the project has some beautiful records. But, these records do not sound well together so you do not play the tracks repeatedly.
The lack of cohesion also made the record a confusing listen. As a listener, you did not get a concrete feel from the project. The album just plays without evoking many emotions. The confusion in the sound may also come from the array artists featured. “Surf” taps into the likes of Erykah Badu, Noname Gypsy, Raury, and even Quavo (of Migos). It is incredible to include a wide varied range of artists on your project, but not at the cost of the sound.
The concept that Chance The Rapper and The Social Experiment were aiming towards was crafty, but the project was not completely executed. The heavy incorporation of Jazz was very creative and divergent. Overall, the sound was eclectic but simply lacked cohesion. The Social Experiment carved their on lane with this project but from a critical standpoint it could have been better completed.
Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment tried something different with their debut project and think they should be commended but it sounded as if they had gotten a little off track. As previously stated, the problem is not the records. “Surf” has some great tracks. Notable songs include “Questions”, “Warm Enough”, “Familiar”, and “Rememory.” But, these songs do not sound well together.
A saving grace for the album could be live performance and touring. Live, some of Surf’s records would play beautifully. Because of Surf’s theatrical nature, I think that I could grow to appreciate the album more after seeing it live.