Album Review: Skrillex, ‘Recess’

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Skrillex.

The name that polarizes people within the music world upon its mere utterance.

Say the name to music critics and you’ll be met with a disgusted roll of the eyes and an audible grunt of guttural loathing from the king of “brostep.”

Say the name to the millions (…and millions) of EDM heads out there and they speak fervently and reverently of the current god of the scene.

Photo Credit: Jason Nocito
Photo Credit: Jason Nocito

To this reviewer Skrillex is neither angel nor demon. The former From First to Last frontman and current kingpin of the electronic dance world, knows how to produce a catchy, hook-filled track. He knows how what buttons to push (literally and figuratively) to get both his audience and his haters to respond to his sound.

And this is exactly where Skrillex’s first LP, Recess, falls, in the middle of love and hate.

Recess starts off with a more robust, thick bass-driven sound that really just courses through your body. That’s the cool thing abut EDM, if done right, this can be a really fun and exciting genre of music. The opening track the wonderfully titled “All is Fair in Love and Brostep” is the banner track of the album. It’s just a really well-constructed and fun “banger” of a song.

However, Recess peaks there. A slow and steady descent into pure mediocrity ensues until the final track when things just get really bad. The thick, fat beats become toothless, hollow beeps and boops, vocals go from inspired to idiocy.

The end result is a whole of “meh” — nothing offensive or God awful, but nothing memorable either.

Ultimately, Recess is a disappointment because we didn’t want to “hate listen” this record; we didn’t want to listen to the album in order to gleefully bash it. Skrillex has produced some quality tracks and it’s unfortunate that the king of dub step couldn’t string together a complete, well-produced record.

Bill Bodkin is the owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, however, he is the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites

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