Most everything one hears on Juice WRLD’s debut, Goodbye & Good Riddance, can be gleaned from its title: a phrase laden with bitterness and condescension, but also one that’s horribly hackneyed. Which is to say that Juice WRLD’s music greatly suffers from unimaginative lyrics and underdeveloped songwriting. But much as one can decry Goodbye & Good Riddance as haphazardly thrown together, or as the result of Interscope wanting to quickly capitalize on the success of breakout single “All Girls Are the Same” — the album also winningly reflects the growing trend and apparent desire for today’s youth to have music that provides a kind of relentlessly catharsis. Unsurprisingly, the lyrical clichés here are passable when Juice WRLD transcends their corniness with impassioned vocals. Because on the music end of things, while most songs have a decent-enough hook to maintain initial interest, few develop much from there. At its best, Goodbye & Good Riddance delivers emotive production and unassailable toplines that provide ephemeral comfort through the outlet of teenage angst; through the thrill of a grasping-at-straws commitment to reckless living and spurts of anger, because: She broke my heart and everything sucks, man. These moments (namely, “Lucid Dream,” “Lean Wit Me,” and “End of the Road”) are few and far between, but they do hint at Juice’s emerging potential, suggesting he may craft a much more developed project in the future.
Published as part of What Meek Didn’t Do | The Rap Releases We Missed in 2018.