Back with more flowing vocals and smooth baselines, The Internet put out their fourth studio album, Hive Mind, on July 20. The Funk/R&B/Soul collective is vocally headed by former Odd Future member, Syd, but the depth of the group is what defines them.
The Internet is not defined by their vocal performance, as many similar groups could be. Their melodies are layered and interesting to the careful ear but are equally pleasing when experienced casually. Syd’s vocals provide for plenty of room for other members to flourish.
Matt Martians produces and plays the keyboard, Steve Lacy is a secondary vocalist and handles guitar and bass, as well as production. Patrick Paige II is a “rapping bassist,” and Christopher Smith is the group’s main drummer.
“Roll (Burbank Funk),” is an upbeat track with slow-building melodies. The bassline from Lacy is one to be cherished, as it almost takes on its own life as the track goes on. To add, Lacy’s vocals are spacey and alluring, complementing his bass with thorough finesse. Not to mention the the spacey, alluring vocals from Lacy are to be cherished. His voice dances with Syd’s background vocals, creating a thoroughly warm track. It was also remixed by Kaytranada.
“Come Over,” is playful and light, as Syd sings to a lover about being home and wanting her to come over for the night. The music video features each member flirting with each other’s playthings, accompanied succinctly with the flirtatious melodies and vocals from Syd. “You got me open / Filled with emotion / Living in ecstasy / Just want you next to me.” Steve Lacy comes through with a dynamic guitar solo, pushing the warm feeling of the track even further.
“La Di Da,” is opened with a funky bassline and transitions into perhaps the best traditionally structured verses on the album. Both of Syd’s verses on the track dip between singing and rapping, proving her vocal flexibility. Her low pitch and suggestive lyrics create an entrancing product; “Face it, I’m out of your league / No, I’m right beside you, talk, I ain’t try’na.” Her allure as a performer is almost indescribable, and seeing her develop in the future will be fascinating.
The rest of the album doesn’t get as high as these early three do, but there are several highlights, including the flourishing beat on the first half of “New Time / Humble Pie,” and the ear-catching lyrics on the second half; “Me, I got a plate / But I don’t want a piece of your humble pie.” Another moment to remember is on “It Gets Better (With Time),” when Syd takes her vocals to their highest capacity, and the track is ended with a mouth-watering rap verse from Paige II.
Unfortunately, the group doesn’t seem to have a full album’s worth of material within themselves. The second half of the album gets tired and monotonous at times, leaving listeners wishing for the bounce of the first half that just never comes. The most uncomfortable moment on the album comes from “Bravo,” which strongly features an unnecessarily intense drum section, juxtaposed poorly with Syd’s softer singing.
Although The Internet has a few things to work on, it’s clear that they’re a collective that will have plenty of great music to put out in the future. It’s a great time for their sweet blend of funk, soul, and R&B, and their next steps will be exciting to follow.