Escape into the great world of The Alchemist’s “The Great Escape”

The album cover of The Great Escape. (Pitchfork)

The album cover of The Great Escape. (Pitchfork)

The widely popular hip hop/R&B artist and producer The Alchemist along with rapper Larry June, released their most recent album, The Great Escape, on March 30. Fans flocked, critics praised, newspapers covered. So what’s the applause all about, and is the album really worth it? Let’s delve in.

The album comes alongside much recent discography from The Alchemist, including a whopping fifteen albums (albeit many of them collaborations with other artists) over just the last three years, from The Great Escape is no exception from the ingenuity of the rest; it certainly follows the artist’s typical R&B style while featuring different hip hop elements throughout. For fans of other songsmiths of the genre, whether it be Tyler, the Creator, MF Doom, Kendrick Lamar, etc., The Great Escape is definitely a worthwhile listen.

The release boasts 15 tracks, all featuring The Alchemist and Larry June, sometimes in company with other well-known names, from Wiz Khalifa to Big Sean. All of the included songs are very relaxing; listening to the album definitely feels like taking a peaceful summer walk in the park. Tunes such as Solid Plan or What Happened To The World? are among my favorites, and they are perfect examples of this. The calm background melody and harmonious lyrics correlate perfectly, making for a time.

The Alchemist and Larry June. (Photo Credit: Twitter)

In fact, what’s interesting about The Great Escape, especially in comparison to so many other albums of its kind, is the unique adherence to its nature. None of the tracks are long tangents about the artists’ views of life (ex. Lil Yachty’s :(failure:() and none of them deviate from the norm by trying out new rhythms or concepts. In my opinion, this makes the album seem very whole and complete, no loose strings to regret or skip. It is very reminiscent of MF Doom’s MM…FOOD or Madvillainy, elevating The Alchemist and Larry June to a whole new level.

The Alchemist and Larry June work very well together; as a matter of fact, this is probably one of The Alchemist’s best collaborations over recent years. More than anything, however, The Great Escape represents a profound change in The Alchemist’s work from the start of his career to the present day. Starting off his métier in 1993 with The Whooliganz, the songwriter has progressed greatly from typical 2000s New York-style beats to a distinct style of his own.

Overall, The Great Escape is definitely a worthwhile album. Great rhythms, good melodies, and catchy lyrics work together to make it one to remember. Hopefully, the aforementioned trend continues, with the famed artist working to pinpoint his personal style and establish himself among the greats, all while making terrific albums such as this one.