I find myself in a difficult situation when listening to, let alone reviewing Surf; the crazily-anticipated album from Chance The Rapper, Donnie Trumpet and the rest of The Social Experiment gang. I find myself in this situation because over a week after its release, I’m not only undecided on wether I can class it as a masterpiece, but also because I don’t know if I can give the right representative of the project through my words.
I thought about setting off with a track-by-track run-through and review, but again, I don’t think my words will ever speak the volumes that the album itself does. But let me get off my chest, the fact that Surf is an incredible piece of music. Delicately constructed, intricately and tirelessly perfected, joyously and genuinely structured, the return you get from the end of Surf is the fact that the group love and live for music- it’s the very essence of everything the album exists for.
From the lead single/grandma-dedicating lead single, to the na-na-na-ing Wanna Be Cool, to the progressive Miracle, every track oozes dedication and encapsulates the camaraderie and collaborative passion from not just the members of The Social Experiment, but also the contributors. Busta Rhymes thanking Chance ‘for rolling out the red carpet’, or Big Sean (among others) congratulating and thanking the team for letting them be a part of the project on Twitter come to mind; the entire presentation, release, and everything in between screams heartfelt and genuine.
As you may have gathered from my review of Surf (and most other albums as of late), I’ve tried to not comment too much on the actual music itself, mainly because at the end of the day you just have to listen to a piece of music to appreciate it properly. I’ve tried to convey how Surf comes across, how it makes me feel, and what I think it does, as apposed to saying what it sounds like in the literal sense, I’d rather let you have a sample of this ‘experience’, rather than me telling you. With influences of everything from gospel to jazz to hip-hop, Chance The Rapper, Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment have created an oasis of an album in a desert of continuity and conformity. Filled to the brim with love, passion and creativity, it’s one of the most genuine pieces of music I’ve heard in a long time.
Verdict – WWWWV