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Big Sean released his fifth album, ‘Detroit 2,‘ on Sept. 4, 2020. (Photo provided via @bigsean on Instagram)

Album Review: Big Sean’s inconsistency plagues ‘Detroit 2’

Big Sean, the Detroit native artist, has released his newest album, Detroit 2. This project serves as a sequel to Sean’s well-received project, Detroit, which was released in 2012.

Fans have waited more than three years since his last solo project, I Decided. There was a lot of buzz surrounding the release of Detroit 2, as fans have been eager to see what Sean has been working on over the past few years.

This project, like all of his others, is no masterpiece. Sean’s albums have consistently been pretty good, as every project he releases comes with its fair share of highs and lows. There was hope that this album would be more consistent than the others, as he took so much time with it.

The belief that more time between his albums would make for a better project is dead wrong. Detroit 2 is Sean’s most inconsistent album yet. There are too many lackluster tracks with underwhelming features and a good amount of forgettable bars from Sean.

Too many songs sound like B-sides from Sean and Metro Boomin’s collaboration album, Double Or Nothing. “Wolves,” “ZTFO” and “Lithuania (feat. Travis Scott),” among others, are hollow tracks that ultimately serve no purpose to the theme of the project.

Others like “Lucky Me” and “The Baddest” have fast flows by Sean that don’t seem to land either. On this overly-long 21 track album, the majority of the songs seem like he’s trying too hard to sound like someone he’s not. On some, he tries to rap fast which doesn’t bode well for him and his sound. On others, he tries to create upbeat, braggadocios tracks which fail to land too.

“Body Language (feat. Ty Dolla $ign, and Jhené Aiko)” and “Time In” are both horribly executed love songs. “Time In” features Big Sean’s falsetto which is dreadful, to say the least.

There are other songs, however, that keep this album somewhat afloat. Unsurprisingly, all of the tracks that succeeded on this album were ones where Big Sean sounds like Big Sean. Wisdom-driven, nonchalant yet deep lyrics over smooth, jazzy or even church-like instrumentals has always been his forte.

Songs like “Everything That’s Missing (feat. Dwele)” and “Guard Your Heart (feat. Anderson .Paak, Earlly Mac, and Wale)” are prime examples of what Sean can do when he’s in his element.

“Full Circle (feat. Key Wane, and Diddy)” is another track where Sean shines. The simple, beautiful distorted-sounding instrumental backing pairs perfectly with their calm and soothing flows.

“Deep Reverence (feat. Nipsey Hussle),” which was the lead single, gave the album false hope. The late Nipsey Hussle started the track off in perfection with a very demanding, confident flow. Sean follows suit while getting personal by talking about his recent mental health issues. The depth that Sean goes into on this track was something that would’ve been great to hear over the whole album, but he clearly had different plans.

Big Sean is best when he sticks to his sound. While there’s no shame in Sean branching out, he simply couldn’t deliver when he tried.

Detroit 2 is mostly full of underwhelming, lackluster tracks that seem to not have any connection with one another, which is typically one thing that Sean can provide within an album. While there are a few solid tracks on the album, they can’t outweigh the damage he did with the others. With no common theme, no consistency, and no exceptional tracks, Detroit 2 fails to live up to any of the expectations it had.

Rating: 2/5 


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