It has been a long three-year wait since Denzel Curry’s last solo album, but it seems that the wait was worth it. The quality of “Melt My Eyez See Your Future” proves that Curry's time away was spent honing his craft. Curry likes to explore different worlds between various albums, ensuring each of them has a particular feel. Usually, his music is marked by his alter egos and the intensity of his flows, but “Melt My Eyez” sees Curry put that side of himself to rest in what is his most mature album to date.
After listening to Curry’s previous album, “Zuu,” I would never have expected “Melt My Eyez” to take the introspective direction that it did. As wonderful as “Zuu'' was, it didn’t give the listener much in terms of deep insight about Curry as a person, opting for explosive bangers instead.
That’s why the album sets an unexpected tone from the first song, “Melt Session #1,” when he digs deep into his troubles — his “soul fighting” and “thoughts of suicide” that he faced in secret — all laid out atop a jazzy beat that makes “Melt Session” feel more like a vent session where Curry opens up. It’s a new side to the artist, one that is ripe for exploration.
On a technical level, Curry has improved everything about his music. From the cadence of his flow to his beat selection, his work has seen a dramatic upgrade. The beat from “Melt Session #1” transitions to the beat for the second track, “Walkin,” so smoothly that an inattentive listener wouldn’t realize the song already ended. “Walkin” also serves as the greatest example of Curry’s growth as a rapper. While the song begins with a slower, more methodical pace of delivery, keeping in tune with the pace set with “Melt Sessions #1,” halfway through the song, the drums pick up the pace, and Curry increases the intensity of his delivery as a result. It would not be appropriate to say that this song is divided by a beat switch, as the underlying melody behind the beat remains the same. Rather, the drums in the first part of the song and the second part are radically different, with faster flows and even a different chorus, resulting in dramatically different tones. The first time I heard this song, the importance of the percussion blew my mind.
The subsequent track, “Worst Comes To Worst,” also emphasizes Curry’s pen game. The song follows an arc which is reflected through the lyrics in each verse. The song begins with Curry rapping, “I look for God on the daily / Prayin' that the Reaper don't take me in a land controlled by Hades.” The second verse similarly begins with the line, “I talk to God on the daily / Told him that the Reaper can't take me in this land designed to hate me.” Curry transforms this song into a snapshot of his self-journey.
One of the album’s standout tracks is “Troubles,” which features T-Pain. The song sees both Curry and T-Pain speak on the troubles in their lives that fame and money don’t improve. Melodically, T-Pain elevates this song to a different level — to say that he killed his guest verse would be an understatement. T-Pain absolutely annihilated it, adding a melodic dimension to the song that drastically increased my enjoyment of the album. The fact that T-Pain continues to bring forth his greatest effort in music years into his career is nothing short of jaw-dropping and inspiring. The song will continue to remain in my rotation for months to come.
In an interview with Loud and Quiet, Curry said of the concept behind the album that the title “Melt My Eyez See Your Future” can be broken into two halves. “Melt My Eyez '' signifies the first half of the record, indicating a reflection on the self, one's contemplations of their place in society and revelations that are typically difficult to face. All the tracks through “Troubles'' fit this theme, with Curry contemplating his mental health, police brutality, and gun violence throughout the first seven tracks. The subsequent seven tracks fit the motif of “See Your Future,” which encapsulates the desire to move on and put one’s past behind them.
The second half of the album remains strong, with tracks such as “X-Wing” and “Zatoichi” carrying the burden of meeting my expectations. The former track sees Curry glide over an orchestral trap beat, rapping about how his success has changed his life. The latter sees Curry team up with featured artist Slowthai as they invoke the popular Japanese character, Zatoichi — a skilled, yet blind, swordsman who wanders alone. In the final track, “The Ills,” Curry wraps the album with a neat bow. A piano-led classic boom-bap hip-hop beat plays in the background as Curry dives deep into his mental health to close the album. The biggest takeaway, however, is that despite the lows he faced, he implores everyone to believe in him as a “child believes in Santa” in a beautiful sentiment of self-empowerment.
“Melt My Eyez See Your Future” is one of the best albums I’ve listened to in recent memory, and without a doubt Curry’s strongest yet. The album’s peaks see Curry in a reflective state of mind. After so long of hiding behind bangers and alter-egos, he’s ready to present himself for the world to see. Curry’s reflectiveness on this album, while a change of pace, is more than welcomed.
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