The Rickety Old Shack

Lil Peep — Come Over When You're Sober, Part 2

album cover

Not long after the release of Lil Peep's debut full-length album, Come Over When You're Sober, Part 1 (review), the LA rapper was found dead — the result of an accidental Fentanyl overdose. In his very brief time in the spotlight, Peep seemed to be building momentum as part of a new wave of rap music that blended trap and emo rock. Reports of a posthumous release didn't surprise me at all, whether or not the leftover material was any good I was certain it would be released — even if only as a cash-grab while Peep's name is still fresh in the public's consciousness. Come Over When You're Sober, Part 2 manages to avoid the most cynical interpretation, and yields an interesting listening experience that provokes a number of thoughts.

First off, the production quality on this album is very good. Lil Peep's material has always been fairly minimalistic, in terms of instrumentation, and this holds true on Come Over When You're Sober, Part 2 but the sound is very polished and the mix is very clean. A definitive improvement in song writing over the previous album, without sounding like a drastic change from past efforts. And therein lies one of this album's issues; no one knows what the true end result would have been were Lil Peep still alive. The material still feels like it belongs in the discography, but without his actual input everything is just an approximation. The fact the artist is dead also gives some of the lyrics a different meaning, such as in "Cry Alone" where he ruminates on burning his school down. The refrain of "tell the rich kids to look at me now" goes from boastful to sardonic in this context.

For an artist who was only just establishing themselves, Lil Peep's posthumous release is actually fairly strong. There are issues with song quality, as "White Girl" is incredibly clunky and rough, the collaboration with fellow recently-deceased rapper XXXTentacion sounds bare and unfinished, and the longer cuts really stress the repetitive nature of Lil Peep's lyrics. That being said, none of these issues are huge problems and given the posthumous nature of the release, the fact everything feels relatively genuine and coherent is commendable. For fans of Lil Peep, this is probably the best one could hope for: a few rough edges but otherwise a big, final dose of material that feels true to the deceased artist. Minimalistic trap beats, airy synths, sampled guitar lines and a thick coating of auto-tune over matter-of-fact laments and tales of substance abuse — all the trademarks are present.

I wouldn't call myself an actual fan of Lil Peep, though I did find his debut album a lot more listenable than I expected. It was one of those moments that made me stop and reflect on my age. Come Over When You're Sober, Part 2 still features very simplistic lyrics and emotional expression, but does feel somewhat evolved from its successor. Lil Peep was incredibly young, the simplicity and limited nature of the lyrical themes and life experiences represented on the album are the product of a very short life. Lil Peep harboured no delusions of living into old age, and even sounds inches from passing out in an opiate-induced stupor on some verses — "Cry Alone" in particular. Some have drawn comparisons to Nirvana but I don't hear it. Just because a dead guy is singing sadly over a guitar doesn't mean they're channeling Kurt Cobain — who never sounded that strung out on recordings.

As a whole, I actually like Come Over When You're Sober, Part 2 more than its predecessor. The party-fiend bravado is all gone, leaving a more introspective narrative even with excessive references to drugs. It's an interesting retrospective on an artist who possessed a peculiar type of charisma, and who passed away before they came close to their true potential. I don't know precisely what heights Lil Peep would have ascended to, but he seemed to be on the verge of breaking into the mainstream at the time of his death. This record leaves me feeling much as I did after the first: I actually think it's quite good, and I think I would have liked it even more if I were 10-or-more years younger. I still don't know exactly what my final assessment of Lil Peep is, although I can say he was more than just some junkie who accidentally got semi-famous before the inevitable OD got him sooner rather than later.

Whether or not Lil Peep retains relevance as time passes — as a trend-setter and / or underground legend — or not is still unknown. Come Over When You're Sober, Part 2 is the best possible send-off he could have. This nearly 40-minute record provides as much nuance as one could reasonably expect from a 21 year-old who didn't necessarily strive to make profound, verbose music. I went into this record with a lot of cynicism and ended up with a greater appreciation for Lil Peep and his producer, Smokeasac. I would expect this to be the final posthumous release, but record labels are funny like that...

Summary

A surprisingly strong collection of posthumous material from emo-rapper Lil Peep, Come Over When You're Sober, Part 2 serves as a solid end note to a brief but prolific career. For fans looking for any new music they can get, this album should satisfy that demand quite well. The deluxe edition includes a collaboration with Ilovemakonnen called "Sunlight On Your Skin," which was also remixed to include XXXTentacion on "Falling Down," while the standard album runs 38 minutes even without them. I liked this a lot more than I expected; it's still very simple music but simplicity doesn't preclude anything from being good. I'm still on the fence when it comes to the emo-rap genre, but this record manages to get the blend mostly right. My biggest complaint is how old this album makes me feel — but that's my problem.

Album Information

Release date: November 9th, 2018
Record label: Columbia Records

Lil Peep — vocals
Smokeasac — production
IIVI — production (tracks 1, 4-10)
Stalfors — production (track 8)
XXXTentacion — vocals (track 12)
Ilovemakonnen — vocals, production (track 13)

Track Listing

  1. Broken Smile (My All)
  2. Runaway
  3. Sex With My Ex
  4. Cry Alone
  5. Leanin'
  6. 16 Lines
  7. Life Is Beautiful
  8. Hate Me
  9. IDGAF
  10. White Girl
  11. Fingers
  12. Falling Down
  13. Sunlight On Your Skin

Link: SoundCloud.com

—by Derek

Published: November 15th, 2018.