I’m going to ask you to stretch a little… and if you’ve ever taken a gym class you’ll know that stretching is good. The purpose of stretching is to avoid injury by warming the muscles and easing them into activity. Now that you see the benefit, stretch with me.
I’m listening to Allday, a quick-witted lyricist laying thoughts on a bed of melodic down. Not all music is for every purpose or mood; maybe your mood is thrashing, or your mood is dancing, or your mood is not punching your boss. Allday brings a mood that is instantly soothing; seriously taking me down a notch from “Oh fuck with me not” to “Okay, I have no fucks. Go about your business.”
From the initial track “First Light” I’m just a wee babe in his hands, and I understand now why he’s selling out shows in Australia and getting tapped for festival slots. The second track, “In Motion,” is playing now, and I’m all up in it with a head bob and a shoulder roll. Maybe it’s that Ed Sheeran thing I’ve got going on, but when the drop hits, I can’t think. Go on, try to multitask; Allday brings you back like ‘ahhhh.’
I abhor dance clubs, but my friends drag me there, so I’m pretty familiar with the “oonce oonce” beat and tried lyrics prevalent in the scene. This is NOT that club sound. It will play there, no doubt, because I’m still moving like someone slipped my drink a date, but it’s got way more substance. I’m reminded (and remember, I said I want you to stretch) of the first time someone sat on me (literally) and forced me to listen to Kendrick Lamar. This is also the same person who sat on me and tickled me until I peed my pants, but I digress. It was good for me then, and this is good for you now. The lyrics and content are elevated. It’s not vapid. It’s not usual. It’s inspired. Take the end of “10 Drinks,” with a recording of a rambling man recalling a psychotic episode after a day of drinking; it becomes clear that Allday is interested in telling stories, and they’re personal to someone, even if it’s not him.
I haven’t stopped listening yet, and that means Allday just exceeded my attention span, which is normally about 15 minutes. I’m on “Ghost” and my second glass of wine is nigh. I’m begging the world wide web for a lyric sheet for each of these songs because I know there’s more to Allday than a great spin and catchy tune. Thanks to 240k fans on Facebook alone, they’re available to me. I’m treated to gems like:
I’m not sure what this hole is I grew inside – “Ghost”
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
But sometimes you turn into a monster
But when you treat someone like they dirt
Then eventually they gon’ turn around
And be the dirt that you said that they’d be – “Raceway”
Shaking me from my Google search is the track “Codeine 17” featuring the heavenly vocals of Graceland. It’s not a sweet song, but it’s brutal and honest. That day someone sat on me (Tyler) and made me listen to Lamar prepared me for the sound of struggle and choices. If an artist gives you their life in a song, you can appreciate the realness of that offering. I thought “Babyspiders” featuring Mallrat would be my favorite song on Speeding, with its steady rhythm line and once again, introspective and raw lyrics, but Allday saves the best for last with “Ultramarine,” also featuring Mallrat. Says the artist:
I also believe outro songs don’t count. So, I just went on a stream of consciousness trip through life with no drums because drums are for real songs, and an outro isn’t a real song.
I’m not about to argue with him, but if this stream of consciousness isn’t a real song, then to hell with real songs. I’m also not going to come at this like I’m some expert on hip hop and rap, but I’m going to come at this like I know what I like, and I like this.
Allday’s “Speeding” is not PG-13, it’s for adults, and it deserves an opportunity to lead you into your usual musical calisthenics. Check it out Speeding on iTunes now. Stretch with me.
Allday Tour Dates: