For fans of Odd Future, discovering Sydney Bennet, otherwise known as Syd tha Kyd — the Californian Hip Hop Collective’s only female member — must have been a very pleasant surprise. Instead of Tyler’s psychotic murderous lyrics or Earl’s depressive rhymes, Syd’s side project The Internet brings something entirely different to the table. Their 2013 album Feel Good is a soulful record filled to the brim with love songs, soft crooning and brilliant instrumentation; a nice departure from Odd Future’s standard mental image.
Feel Good, as a whole, ran extremely smoothly as a record for a couple of different reasons. One of the most important one was that Syd and music producer Matt Martian did not try and attempt to tackle different subjects all at once; the entire record is about Syd’s profession of love to another girl. Songs span from Sunset, where Syd sings about how she needs her lover to fix her chaotic life, to Shadow Dance where Syd’s soft croons to a mellow tune about her first try at a strip tease. The entire album is based on Syd and this unknown lover, and nowhere does she try to go into depressive themes running through Odd Future. This brought The Internet to new heights from their last record Purple Naked Ladies, which seems like a compilation of good songs, to a thoroughly good album.
Without Martian — a founding member of Odd Future, The Internet would not be half the band it is today. Other than Syd’s unique voice, Matt’s creative instrumentation and arrangement is what separates The Internet from other R&B groups. Musical arrangement, again differed from the rest of Odd Future, takes more of an elementary process by only making use of instruments found in a traditional band, again running with the theme of simplicity. The album is comprised of no more than an electric bass, drum set, a clean electric guitar and a dominating piano and keyboard. Feel Good’s soft, serene music is also extremely adaptable thanks to Martian—sudden musical changes can take you by surprise. Third track Dontcha starts out with a semi-heavy bass line, which is followed immediately by a relaxing electric keyboard riff, jumping the song into another soulful love ballad.
The double-edged sword of simplicity comes with a variety of pros, but also somewhat deadly cons. One of the major problems Feel Good suffered was that it completely limited the creative diversity allowed on the album. Since the main driving idea of the album is “Love”, some of the tracks, which can stand alone as terrific songs, fall short to the album as a whole. Most of these are songs over five minutes long, such as the second half of Pupil/The Patience and Cloud of Our Own. Using “Love” as an overwhelming theme in this record also proved to be cheesy and conventional at certain points. The record drifts off towards the end as it departs this dominating theme into long jams, which gives listeners with shorter attention spans a harder time to focus.
However, the shortcomings of the record do not overshadow its virtues at all. The Internet has put out a very solid album, and further proves the sheer amount of talent that came out of the phenomenally skilled and young Collective Odd Future. Overall, the simplistic ideas, which run through the album, coupled with superb musical arrangement and style gives the album a solid eight out of ten.