Watsky - Complaint
Updated: Jan 16, 2019
As a young boy in high school, I was a certified Watsky fangirl—reciting some of his material for poetic interpretation during my speech & debate tenure. I was under the impression that he could do no wrong. That is, until I saw him live at the Animas City Theater on 4/20/18, clearly intoxicated, chasing youth by rocking skinny jeans and being overtly sexual towards his crowd who he had at least a decade-and-a-half on. I was spooked out by the age difference between him and his barely 18 year-old fans. I chalked up my bad time to being high for the first time in a long while, and too close to the speakers. This had to be a one-off. After all, when I saw him on the Warped Tour circuit six years prior, I was enchanted that I got to meet an idol of mine and watch him perform. I think much of the pleasure I got out of that half-hour set was from being with dear old friends who also worshipped the dude.
Six years and two degrees later, Watsky drops “Complaint,” his first incoherent album reliant on trap beats and autotune. I struggle to find a theme on the project. His past records have flowed better, and seemed to encapsulate a larger emotional place. However, this seems to be more of a smattering of tracks that share album artwork. I’m not sure what he’s complaining about, other than his own behaviour. I found 2018’s Invisible Inc. release “Fine Print” to be much more interesting— likely because it was backed by more real instrumentation.
That said, “Complaint” isn’t all bad. He doesn’t talk himself up, which I appreciate in hip-hop. The song “No Complaints No Conversations” serves as a classic Watsky cut wherein he's melodic and introspective. “Feels Alright” is a great cut reminiscent of 2016’s “Midnight Heart” riding the border between emo rap and punk rock. I enjoyed those two cuts thoroughly, but the rest of the twenty-eight minute album did little for me