Sound — 8
Great Lakes Feather Company is still finding its sound, and it shows. At its anchor, Miles Winchester tries to provide a center for the band. His beats and his music lead this eclectic, behemoth of an album to its goals, whether they succeed or fail. His instrumentation is the best part of Pluto and it deserves recognition. Somewhere in the back of my mind I have hopes for an instrumental chiptune album by him. As for the overall sound, it lacks focus. At times, there's rap, at time's there's a bit of punk?, at times, I have absolutely no clue what the heck is happening and I want to get off the ride RIGHT NOW. Still, as the sophomore album of a ragtag group of ever-changing members, they could do worse. The first track is an instrumental and if I have to have an instrumental intro track, I want it to be like this - smooth, unpretentious, and quick. The fifth track, "The Black Hole" reminds me of the music my friends listened to when I was sixteen. Whoever wrote the lyrics was stuck on flying, I guess. The vocals keep it interesting without getting too masturbatory a la Crayola, and the music has a certain chiptune quality to it. This is one of the first examples of a great Pluto chorus: loud, confusing yet melodic, with frantic instrumentation either before or after. It's followed up with the lowest musical point on the album, "Phonebooth." Holy God, the verse drums are annoying. Imagery is stale, boring. Sounding like a broken record. The song "Female" might be the worst produced song on the record. The song comes in muddy. I can't really hear the first minute and a half because the music is too damn loud. It's a rare exception to the otherwise great mixing on the album.
Lyrics — 3
First I have to touch on the imagery. This album is riddled with some clever, some not so clever pokes at space, as the album is called "Pluto." The biggest lyrical complaint I have is with the song "Butterface." Let me clarify: I like White Chocolate. After pretty much half the album consisting of mediocre rappers, this guy comes out of left field and hits it out of the park. Hands down, best rapper on the entire record. "Butterface" is probably the best-mixed, most well-constructed song on the entire album. It flows well, it sounds good. It's a shame I absolutely hate it. I'm pretty sure this song is supposed to be funny. It seems like the kind of humor these artists would be into – Haha, wow, that girl sure is ugly, but she has some great t-ts. I'd bang her if she had a bag on her head, what a butterface, I am so cool for saying this. It turns out that people are probably saying the same things about this group, and their egos are so huge in this song it looks like they're overcompensating for something. My point is, casual misogyny is super fun, guys. It's not lazy or immature, but it makes you look like cool, tough dudes that I would totally drink some Miller Lites with at The Club. In case I haven't gotten my point across because sarcasm is difficult to understand on the internet, this song is terrible. I would also like to point out that someone consciously decided "You smell like poo" was a good idea to include on an album. Quite clever! You all play classy! As far as the other songs go, there is a notable part on the track "Mechanical Heart" Micayla makes me actually take notice during her verse, both because of her voice and because of the best and only good line in the song, "So you think that you're a king, flying away from me?" Her accusation is genuine after her partner's weak pity party and promise to change.
Overall Impression — 6
"Pluto" is all about ego. Each artist, in their own way, has something to prove (and I believe Perezident alludes to this at one point). They spend the entire album trying to prove whatever IT is with varying degrees of success. In the end, it all comes back to relationships, and the album, at its core, is very humbling. The rappers spend track after track trying to convince everyone their front is real – each of them is a sex god, the underdog, the up-and-coming heavyweight champ, but they're not. They're young. They're fragile. As many times as they claim how good they are, they admit how good they aren't, and that's something worth saluting. Everyone else has their own goals. Some want to be seen as lovers, as the hero of their story, but they aren't. Some want to be seen as tragic, fallen heroes, but they're just sad, little boys. The offhanded admission of this by the album, even without the artists realizing it, is what keeps it all together.