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Logic - Supermarket Music Album Reviews

From clumsy stadium rock to unacceptable ska, Logic’s overly ambitious album is a painful slog.

Four minutes into “Bohemian Trapsody,” the hamfisted opener of Logic’s new album, Supermarket, and you find yourself inside a never-ending Pro Tools session. The track’s acoustic guitar and four-on-the-floor bass—which sound ripped from a karaoke instrumental of a Gorillaz song—have faded away to make room for a trip-hop drum break that then falls into a stuttering trap drop.


In all, “Bohemian Trapsody” contains three beat changes, no rapping, and a space-rock chorus. It is also nowhere near the most ridiculous thing recorded for a project that also features an acoustic A Tribe Called Quest cover, multiple Thom Yorke impressions, and two Mac DeMarco features. From clumsy stadium rock to reggae-tinged ska, Supermarket is a painful journey across guitar music of the past five decades and makes Lil Wayne’s Rebirth look well-thought-out in comparison.

The album stems from Logic’s novel of the same name, which quickly became the No. 1 bestseller on Amazon despite the rapper admitting that he’s not much of a reader. That sort of chutzpah has always been at the center of his artistry, which is based around regurgitating the styles of abstract, genre-pushing MCs into earnest, easier-to-digest forms. This dumbing-down process has allowed him to reach younger audiences who crave the wordplay of golden-age hip-hop but aren’t necessarily interested in its grittiness. It’s also given him free rein to be as nerdy and uncompromising as he’s wanted to be, from releasing an album that takes place in outer space 100 years in the future to a record narrated by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to a Wu-Tang Clan tribute featuring every living member of the group. But the vital difference between those projects and Supermarket is that his rubbery rapid-fire delivery, the one skill that earned him enough points as an MC to continuously reinvent himself, is almost entirely absent here.

In its place are long stretches of dull, dried-out singing by a guy who can’t sing. Logic’s frail hum mostly comes off lethargic, like on the monotonous “Best Friend,” a glossy Southern rock track without any drama, or the title track, a pre-fab alt-rock anthem that imagines a world where Thom Yorke was a literal creep: “I’m a weirdo, I’m a freak/I wish I could watch you in your sleep.” The Maryland MC is shameless in his desire to recreate the sounds of influential bands, at some points going so far as to clumsily call them out by name. Rather than coming off like his frontman idols, though, he resembles the lead singer of a cover band on a cruise ship, failing to capture any of the magic of the original material.

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On “Lemon Drop,” for example, he hilariously tries out the funky scat of Blood Sugar Sex Magik-era Red Hot Chili Peppers, only to come off more like Weird Al’s 1993 impression of the band. And then there’s the two DeMarco-produced tracks, which could serve as parodies of the Canadian singer-songwriter’s sound in how formulaic and insular they sound; it’s like Logic is singing over looped versions of past releases rather than working with DeMarco to create something new.

But the most egregious moments on the album come when Logic tries to tack on hip-hop elements as afterthoughts, most painfully on “Can I Kick It,” a soulless A Tribe Called Quest cover. There’s also “Baby,” the millionth rework of Biz Markie’s 1989 classic “Just A Friend” and probably one of the worse versions yet, as well as a handful of trap drops slapped on the backends of songs, as if during the album’s mastering session Logic had some last-minute concerns about the viability of dropping a project without any hi-hats. In that moment, maybe he realized his unchecked ambition had finally gone too far.



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