>> Ditching Ryan Lewis was an interesting move for Macklemore; His entire new full-length seems to be an existential crisis of sorts. The whole record is a teeter-totter balancing his desire to continue his mantra of relatability and his affinity for fame and money. He asks himself “What am I willing to sacrifice at the expense of my ego?” in the track Intentions in an ironic summary of this whole concept.
Macklemore’s wit has not lost its edge; His lyrics on Gemini have the same elements of humor and depth as his previous work.
The collaborators were all great choices. Beyond simply including featured artists as backup or supplemental vocals on each track, Macklemore brought aboard talented stringed instrumentalists to contribute melodies and riffs that assisted the composition of a few songs beautifully.
It’s good that his lyrical performances were great and the parts of his hand-picked contributors were each clean and creative because not much else on the record was. The beats on most tracks were extremely simple and monotonous. There seemed to be two themes that his songs could fall into throughout Gemini, group A being a rhyme scheme over an open and light bottom end of benign piano and group B being an ambient background track with boring computer beats underneath everything.
While it is good to know that Haggerty’s talent isn’t confined to rapping about controversial themes and working with the same engineer time and time again, I’m comfortable in thinking that this latest release was good, not spectacular or revolutionary. 3.8/5 <<