Written by: Wil Rios
What So Not’s Not All The Beautiful Things is a divine amalgamation of diverse sounds and textures. This powerful record brings something for everyone as it dives into trap, grime, bass, pop, house, and even rap elements.
What So Not has a plethora of collaborations in production, the most distinguished ones being Skrillex and San Holo. He employs Daniel John’s enchanting vocals three times during the length of the album, and rightfully so as he adds an emotional and smooth layer on top of the instrumentals that he’s on. Noteworthy rap performances include Rome Fortune and Michael Christmas for all of the Hip Hop Heads.
What So Not starts the album strong with his Skrillex collaboration, “Goh“. It initiates the record with a high energy and bouncy trap waves. The first horn interlude after the drop is extremely tasty. You just wish it could last a bit longer before being led back into the build up.
“Warlord” is a trippy adventure into deep space that keeps you in utter suspense. It is a cinematic exposé that you’d expect in a D.C. film while the villain and hero engage in a bloody final battle.
At “Be Ok Again” is where we start to get to the darker and more emotional section of the album. It has such beautiful rhythmic synthesizers that make your head bob in nostalgic bliss. Daniel Johns has a luscious hook, as is consistent throughout all of his features on the album.
Hands down, the most fitting track title, “Beautiful“ – it is just that. From the hopeful yet sad lyrics to the dark and bouncy vibrations, this is definitely a favorite and top-grade House jam. Lyrics go:
“I hope you’re not thinking too much.”
“You’re pain is beautiful”
The pain this song brings is absolutely beautiful.
We reach a drop in tempo with the tracks “Stuck In Orbit“, and “Demons“. In the scheme of the album, these are slower and sappier tracks, the former a pop ballad and the latter a pop-rap song. BUOY and Rome Fortune give convincing singing and rapping performances, respectively.
“We Keep On Running” picks the pace back up with a fun future bass vibe. It builds and builds until we reach the drop, which smacks us in the face with funky rock hook similar in style to that of Imagine Dragons. This is another favorite.
“If You Only Knew” has a ferocious Hip Hop instrumental that dips into a beautiful guitar riff. It climbs the mountains and throws us into an absolutely stank-face inducing trap drop. Arguably, this is the best utilization of Daniel John’s vocal capacity, layering and range.
“Monsters” is a Rap/R&B track where Tobi Lou has possibly the best melody of the album. The only complaint would be that it didn’t last longer! Michael Christmas gives a painfully honest verse about the disillusionment that comes with fame. He ends the song with:
“They just hand you the world and they expect you… to stay the same… And you say you’re not gonna change, but you do.”
He gives an eye-opening narrative that doesn’t gloss over and sugar coat the realities of the music business.
“Bottom End” is a prime example of a straight up, dirty, DIRTY trap song. There is nothing too overly complicated to distract your ears from the straight filthy bass, horns, and drums. It unequivocally bangs, my guy.
The final two tracks of Not All The Beautiful Things are dark and slow for your sorrowful pleasure. “Same Mistakes” has lovely vocals from Daniel Johns. His contribution is greatly appreciated, as his voice is charming, soft, and melodic. “Us” ends the album with a gloomy tale of a couple being constantly interrupted by outside opinions. I’m sure many can relate with this message.
Not All The Beautiful Things is an inspiring project with an array of multifaceted and experimental sounds that stays true to the electronic vibrations that What So Not is known for. This record has the signature trap horns, the smooth and foamy vibrations, the filthy bass, and even the rap bars. There are moments of complete and utter brilliance throughout this record. We can’t wait to see what he comes with next!
Beautiful ft. Winona Oak
We Keep on Running w/ Toto.
If You Only Knew w/ San Holo feat. Daniel Johns
Bottom End w/ Dyro. Dirty dirty trap
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