Album Review : Lil Peep - Come Over When You're Sober, Part 2 (2018)
Drug addicted, face tattooed SoundCloud rapper * Lil Peep tragically passed away in 2017, exactly three months after releasing his debut album Come Over When You’re Sober, Part 1 to great acclaim. Pitchfork called him “the future of emo” and the New York Times “the Kurt Cobain of lo-fi rap”. His passing both solidified and problematized his legacy. Lil Peep would forever be as good as his first album, but was he only that? A year after his passing, the long awaited Come Over When You’re Sober, Part 2 came out, thanks to Peep’s mother, his producer Smokeasac and a worn MacBook. And it’s… what we wanted it to be, but not more?
It’s probably going to sound weird, but Come Over When You’re Sober, Part 2 is it’s predecessor’s tormented, perfectionist little brother. Come Over When You’re Sober, Part 1 was very much a product of its era, with raw, bare recordings and simple, to-the-point musical arrangements. Part 2 is more of a product of Peep’s tragic passing. Without a driver at the helm to say when and how to release music, Smokeasac was given more time to polish his work and layer his instrumentals. The landscape is still barren, sometimes atonal and heavy on grunge-like guitars, but the parts co-exist in a much more harmonious way.
And like for it’s predecessor, it’s Lil Peep’s lyrics and vocal performances that make the songs and give them such a unique and powerful resonance. Not sure if he was on purpose, but he kept some of his most intense material for Come Over When You’re Sober, Part 2 . For example, on Sex With My Ex Peep howls: Fuck me like we’re lyin’ on our deathbed. What the fuck does that even mean? Emo’s been plenty criticized for being self-serious but Lil Peep was, to me, very much into the business of catharsis more than anything. Crazy, borderline schizophrenic, stream-of-consciousness lyrics set to a catchy hook you could sign to feel better.
While sometimes it feels like Lil Peep is just singing whatever tortured thought that comes to his mind without filter like I don’t wanna cry along right now/I’m kissing a styrofoam right now (Cry Alone), other times he’s exposing really raw and deliberate details about his condition. On Leanin’ Peep explains what it’s like to wake up after a suicide attempt. On 16 Lines, he’s singing about casually making enormous amount of blow, like he doesn’t care what happens if he does. These lyrical themes are perhaps not groundbreaking in themselves, but set to Peep’s ridiculously catchy hooks, grungy guitar and downtuned bass, they really take a life of their own.
I’m torn on deciding whether or not Come Over When You’re Sober, Part 2 is better than its predecessor. It feels definitely more personal and urgent than its predecessor, but perhaps lacks immortal bangers like Save that Shit or U Said. The songs are all catchy as hell, but the absence of Lil Peep can be felt on details. It’s different. It’s Peep seen and cared for by the people who loved him and not necessarily Peep’s raw, in your face songwriting. The end product feels more sophisticated and confessional, like a tormented diary or something. So, it’s no better or worse than Come Over When You’re Sober, Part 1, really. Just different. It’s like living in the same house, but one day you walk in and someone shifted the furniture around a couple inches. Everything is in the same place, but it’s not, you know?
* I’m being vague here, I am?