Yellow Claw’s debut album, Blood For Mercy, is still one of my favorite albums of the last decade (among hundreds of others). Collaborations with Becky G, Flux Pavilion, Lil Eddie, and way more added flavor to the whole project that gave it some much needed variety and quality production. The Dutch group has released two more albums since then, in 2017 and 2018, that were good but… lacked that initial sheen. Now, they’re back with their fourth studio album, Never Dies, and it still hasn’t reached the quality of that first album, but it’s getting closer.
The biggest issue with Never Dies is the pacing. It goes from emotional ballad to hard to soft to banger to bigger banger, and then a couple soft hip hop tunes, and so on. It’s not necessarily the variance in vibe, either, but more so how they’re all fitted together. It feels like a collection of singles rather than a full album, which will likely be how I listen to this album after today is done.
Yellow Claw’s biggest strength has been their bangers, and this album definitely has its fair share of those. “Reckless” with Fatman Scoop is an absolute belter, and the collab with Gammer, “Here To Stay,” is nothing to scoff at either. “El Terror” is a banger with more Latin flavor thanks to Jon Z and Lil Toe, as well.
Overall, Never Dies has some good qualities but it’s not a great album. Check it all out below.
Photo via Rukes.com