Review of 'Almost Healed' album by Lil Durk
By Noel Guerra
Lil Durk is one of the most polarizing rappers in the world today but still somehow remains somewhat on the fringe of Hip Hop. From his long list of beefs with other artists to his love life, we are typically kept "in the know" as to Durk's happenings. However, something about his music sometimes tends to to remain forgettable.
A brief review of Almost Healed by Lil Durk
Durk has been riding a wave of success over the past few years. His last project, 7220, climbed all the way to number one on the Billboard Top 200, eventually obtaining platinum status. His previous two albums peaked at number two each time, respectively.
His newest album is presumably going to be his most successful. Almost Healed was highly anticipated, especially after pushing it back due to his feud with NBA Youngboy. Despite the pushback, the world was ready for another Durk project. The first big hit off of the new album, "All My Life" featuring J. Cole, is already a huge hit. It currently sits at number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
All in all, the album has its highs and lows. Let's dive in a bit in a brief review of Almost Healed by Lil Durk.
The positive takeaways of Almost Healed by Lil Durk
Durk begins the album with a "therapy session" featuring musical star Alicia Keys. It is a beautiful setup for what he will explore on this album. The content is highly intriguing, from the loss of King Von to his relationship with India. Beginning to discuss "the elephants in the room" was a very smart theme for Almost Healed.
It is also a great setup for the title of the album, Almost Healed. Fans think he is still in dire need of therapy due to all of the madness that has gone on in his life since he was a kid. He is not fully ready to let go of the pain, but this is a process that continues within this album.
Despite his growth as a person and artist, Durk's best performances are when he taps into his Chicago drill roots. Songs, such as "Big Dawg" and "Before Fajr" are right in your face with the lyrics and production. Durk is not afraid to get in that mode, which I think is when he's at his best.
Furthermore, Durk takes aim at some of his opposition on the album. This is a common element found in the drill sound and introduces a level of energy that is often lacking on his other tracks from Almost Healed. He does this while also addressing the loss of King Von, touching on rumors of him getting Von shot and even snitching on him in their ongoing case. Durk is not hesitant to be transparent with what the public has to say about him, whether it is someone he is feuding with or the media.
There are also incredible features that bring immense value to the production. 21 Savage, Kodak Black, Rob49, and Chief Wuk bring their best in their collaborations. They bring the best out of Durk, matching their energy with perfection.
Some great songs should be revisited. Some are those drill songs, but "All My Life" is a great uplifting song that includes an amazing J. Cole verse. Durk can show some versatility throughout the album, but sometimes that can clash with the overall execution of the project.
The negative takeaways of Almost Healed by Lil Durk
While executing a drill style, you get a taste of a softer side of Durk. That side isn't as audibly pleasing, to say the least. For context, we knew he would touch on India and their relationship. However, his ability to compose and execute these tracks is less than appealing, and often disappointing.
"Sad Songs" is simply not good from the verses to the cringe-worthy chorus. "Dru Hill" is another track that carries that same notion. I appreciate the vulnerability and attempt at a diverse album, but he missed the mark with Almost Healed.
Also, the use of autotune needs to be dialed back. He interjects verses at times with random spurts of autotune and different voice inflections that don't match well with the flow of the track. This is sometimes distracting, leading your interest away from enjoying the track.
Then, perhaps a contender for the worst song of the year is "Stand by Me." The song features country music star Morgan Wallen, which is just a baffling feature to have on this album. We get that maybe this is an attempt at networking his way into the mainstream a little bit more, but this is just an awful and unauthentic way to do it. The song itself is lackluster and we even get a Wallen verse that does not help raise the value of listenability at all.
The closing of this album leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, especially after a hot run from "Before Fajr" to "B12". The drill-style tracks are the only thing that brings any value to the table.
All in all, the album is solid. Durk has solidified himself as a true star in the rap game. He is probably at the top of the drill sound with NBA Youngboy. The album has highlights within that reflect that niche but runs into problems when he attempts to branch out so far.
There was a theme that was set in the beginning, but it felt as though there was a lot of deviating from the path throughout the project. Durk is a good rapper, but committing himself to a concept might not be his strong suit, as made apparent with Almost Healed. Lil Durk has earned his respectful position, so random songs with artists like Morgan Wallen should not be needed going forward.
However, songs like "All My Life" will most likely work for him in the future, blending various Hip Hop styles with his infamous drill sound. Durk has loyal fans that love his execution of that style. The autotune and love songs can be good in moderation. Perhaps this album can be better with some slight cuts and edits to deliver a stronger project.
Overall rating of Almost Healed by Lil Durk
Overall Rating: 5/10
Best Tracks on Almost Healed by Lil Durk: Big Dawg, Before Fajr, War Bout It, 300 Urus, Same Side
Worst Tracks on Almost Healed by Lil Durk: Sad Songs, Dru Hill, Stand by Me, Cross the Globe
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