Scarlxrd – DXXM Album Review
If you are unaware of who Scarlxrd is, I would completely understand. Marius Listhrop or Scarlxrd (Scarlord) is a twenty-four year old British rapper, and although at one point he had 600,000 subscribers on YouTube under the name “Mazzi Maz”, most people still do not know who he is due to him completely changing his look. After quitting YouTube, he began to pursue a musical career and formed a band called “Myth City” after Googling “How to start a band”. He began his solo career in 2016 as a pretty basic trap-styled rapper. However, his first real musical exposure was in 2017 after his song “Heart Attack” went viral. The track features distorted screaming as well as some very fast rapping over a regular trap beat with heavily distorted bass. In just under one year (Oct 2016- Sept 2017), Scarlxrd has put out four full albums and countless EP’s/singles, something most mainstream artists take over a decade to accomplish. His first two albums were almost completely normal rap based but, when “Chaxthexry” (Chaos Theory) dropped, something was different, he was screaming and yelling his heart out with some very dark lyrics to accompany those vocals. However, due to his consistent vocal performance and constant album output, his music may start to feel boring, and that is pretty much my main gripe with his new album “DXXM” (Doom).
The album “DXXM” was released on May 4 of this year and is Scarlxrd’s fifth studio album. To put it simply, this album is great, not as good as “Chaxthexry” but still a really good listen.
Enough with the comparisons, let us talk directly about the album presentation. Featuring fourteen songs (with no features) this album runs a little over thirty-eight minutes. Scarlxrd has some pretty sick album art with what appears to be some sort of wire mask with red smoke coming out of it. Quite edgy (although not necessarily a bad thing). The tracklist is awful to be completely honest, and I almost had an aneurysm trying to decode all of the tracks with and “X” instead of an “O” (which was almost all of them).
Scarlxrd produces music on this album that I have never heard anything like. Perhaps a comparison could be made to XXXTentacion and his early music like “Look at me”, but it is a very weak one at that. The rapping, as mentioned before, is not conventional rap for the most part with all songs featuring distorted screaming, distorted bass, and even some heavy guitars. A few songs on this album however, had something that I have never heard before in his music, low growls. These growls add a whole new layer to the music and makes them stand out from his other songs. However, many of his songs in this album—as well as all of the previous albums he screams on—include a background scream that sounds like the word “take”. This scream is very audible and after hearing it for the hundredth time, is quite annoying. Even though the vocal delivery is different, there are many similarities with modern rap music (like when he says “yuh and yeah” at the end of every line). In fact, the lyrics have some common themes with rap music like sex, money, and cutting people out one’s life but on the other hand, he has some really dark lyrics. His lyrics are very dark and very edgy. During an interview with Genius, Scarlxrd said that he “can’t listen to a lot of my songs” due to how dark they are.
Due to the intensity of his music, I find that it gets me riled up, and even in the most mundane of circumstances (like when I am doing the four pages of math homework I get every day) it feels really intense.
Overall, not the best album but it does have its good tracks: “We waste time FADED”, “BXILING PXINT”, “CHXKE”, and “Burn”. It seems like his music stays similar to form likely because he has not had enough time to evolve as an artist. Due to this, if you like one of his songs, chances are you will like them all. I do believe that Scarlxrd is very talented, but his repetitiveness is his greatest weakness. Even his music videos follow the same formula; standing on a street dancing around and lip syncing with crazy jump cuts and editing. I would recommend this album to anyone who enjoys rap and “screamo” music, as well as anyone who just appreciates some intense music.