Underrated Albums: 'Everything'
The first part of a series of underrated albums.
Many have heard the names Jaden Smith, Halsey, or even Chance the Rapper. However, the man behind the production of many of their tracks hardly gets any recognition.
Lido adds a twist to your typical dance music by filtering in complex chords and harmony from his gospel influence. Being a stellar drummer and pianist, it's guaranteed that his music is made mainly outside of the computer, unlike many electronic artists these days. He began as a hip-hop artist in Norway under the name "LidoLido" before moving onto production, and becoming just Lido.
His debut album as Lido passes through all of the stages of grief after a breakup. The way he builds chords and suspense makes the listener pass through all of these stages with him. Various features include Santell, Jaden Smith, and Towkio, all of which represent different voices in his head that make him feel different things.
The album begins with "Catharsis." The title already suggests that the track is the calm before the storm, and it brings in the main theme of the album, being his ex-girlfriend Halsey saying "everything" into the microphone. While seeming to be a positive track, this song has pending negativity looming over it, shown with some of the darker chords.
Moving into "Murder," a track with vocals sampled from when he was a kid, Lido shows the fear of the impending breakup. Though he still glorifies her at this point, the breaks become heavier after he says she'll murder him, despite the fact that he still feels like he's in a dream state when he's around her. The orchestral section at the last minute or so of this piece represents that dream state, and ends on a suspenseful chord to show how it will be broken.
This filters into "Dye," which begs her not to change. This is the first moment of foreshadowing that something in this story will change, yet he is trying to prevent it from doing so.
The break becomes apparent in "So Cold," where he expresses the pain of now being alone. Before the break he hauntingly says "Now all I've got are these drums to keep me company" before cutting into a theme from "Crazy," the leading single from this album.
"Crazy" is the first stage of denial. While it acknowledges what will happen if she leaves him, he cannot comprehend that she is already gone, in fear of what he predicted coming true. At this point, each track continues to build intensity from the last one, and crazy is another representation of this.
Leading into "Falling Down," an interlude, Lido realizes that what he had is already gone, and he feels hopeless. This is an interlude, because it's such a small stage towards the beginning of the grief, and frankly it's one of the weaker feelings.
Anger becomes prominent in the album's most impactful track, "Citi Bike." Freestyles from Towkio are soaked with rage as he spits hateful lyrics towards Lido's ex. The song is the heaviest and most intense on the track in order to build the feeling of anger from the music, along with from the lyrics. The vocals pan between left and right speakers and high and low pitches in order to create the dizzying feeling of drunken anger, which is what is being conveyed.
This track, however, fades out into "Only One," which is a less spiteful type of bitter. Featuring Jaden Smith, "Only One" is less angry but more hurt, including brutally honest lyrics and cries of regret, along with unapologetic attacks towards his ex. The chilled-out progression and funky bass line suggests the anger was the climax of the stages of grief, and the album becomes calmer from here on out and the tension releases.
After feeling angry and bitter, Lido pours out into "You Lost Your Keys," a one-take jazzy piano-oriented track. This song is properly placed in order to represent the sadness that comes after the anger, which is needed in order to properly grieve the relationship.
Clearly, the sadness was a beneficial part of the process, as he moves into "Angel," which lacks the regret and anger of the other tracks. This is acceptance. He acknowledges the good things they had instead of only focusing on the bad, which is exactly what was needed to move on.
The last track, "Tell Me How To Feel," is the confusion when all of this is done. It features themes from every track, building over each other and creating a slew of many different emotions, before Astrid comes in at the end with angelic acapella vocals to represent the hope of finding something new. This ultimately completes the stages of grief and shows that he has fully moved on. However, the album can also be viewed as a loop, because the same is likely to happen with another girl, which would bring him right back to "Catharsis," and through the album again.
Everything is a journey through many emotions, and does not receive all of the credit it deserves.