Kevin Abstract’s newest LP


Spencer Norman, Staff Writer

“Y’all pump faking, I’m a power bottom/Like a Free Mason, y’all stuck playing/That’s complacent.” This iconic phrase belongs to Kevin Abstract’s song “Big Wheels” from his newest LP ARIZONA baby.

He first showed the song with an accompanying YouTube video released on April 8. The music video depicted Abstract’s head being edited to appear within the hands of someone out of frame, similar to the music video for GUMMY, produced by the hip-hop collective BROCKHAMPTON, in which Kevin Abstract is a member of. He later released the entire LP on April 24. The LP includes 11 songs, such as Big Wheels, Use Me, and Peach. In total, the album is 32 minutes and 26 seconds.

“So many therapists in Hollywood. Maybe I should be spilling my life story to a stranger watching a clock, but I’d rather talk through music. You bring the audience along this journey where you both walk the line of not knowing what’s real and what’s fake.”  Abstract said in a press statement released with ARIZONA baby. “The duality of the American Dream. Everyone thinks I’m morally righteous because of a few headlines. Duality. Call your dad and tell him how he made you feel, Ian. This is the sweet spot between self-discovery and celebration. The space beneath the circuit board of emotion. This is ARIZONA baby.”

The LP has a stark difference in sound production from his sophomore album American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story. Abstract keeps the themes of youth and sexuality that first appeared in American Boyfriend, but also opens up about his recent struggles that came with his newfound fame.

While the album may have meaningful lyrics, it doesn’t mean the music production matches the quality of the lyrics. Abstract includes many synthetic and electronic beats in companion with his singing. Disappointingly, these beats too greatly contrast the slow and heavy singing of Kevin Abstract, Dominic Fike, and Ciarán McDonald.

ARIZONA baby may have good intention with the meaningful lyrics and mix of musical instruments, it fails to create a finalized and coherent album. The album much better fits within the label of a ‘side project’ to Kevin Abstract rather than the main musical focus that BROCKHAMPTON appears to Abstract.