Stoned vs. Sober: Lil Peep falls short of his legacy with ‘Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2’

Henry Netherland

Courtesy of iTunes.

Almost one year since emo rapper Lil Peep died from an accidental ingestion of fentanyl, the artist’s signature sound has made shockwaves across the genre in ways no one could have imagined.

The term, “emo rap” has officially dug its teeth into the American slang with many citing Peep as one of the sub-genre’s most notable representations. Now just over a year after the release of his debut, “Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 1,” Peep’s estate has posthumously released its sequel, “Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2.”

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According to The New York Times, the album came to fruition only after Peep’s death after his friends and family discovered several unreleased songs on his laptop. Some sounded more finished than others, but that did not stop the estate from putting on finishing touches and releasing the collection of tracks as an official album.

What Peep lacked in lyricism or vocal chops on his earlier projects, he occasionally made up for in melodic verses, a nonchalant attitude and a good aesthetic. Looking at some of the collaborative non-album singles released earlier such as “Spotlight” with Marshmello,” “4 Gold Chains” with Clams Casino and “Falling Down” with XXXTentacion, I had reason to be excited. All of these singles saw Peep using more lush and detailed production while still maintaining his unique voice.

After his death, the context of Peep’s music felt so much more real. All of his references to heavy drug usage and death no longer felt like an act he was putting on. Even the despondent tone of his voice took on a much darker sentiment than before.

Sober listening

The album’s opener, “Broken Smile (My All)” is a pretty soft introduction to the record. On the first part of the song, Peep sounds barely alive as he mutters pitifully through his refrain. I would not mind this delivery initially so long as the lyrics coincided with Peep’s despondency. The problem is the lyrics are so generic and vapid that they barely line up with the moody sentiment at all.

“16 Lines” takes on a more relaxed atmospheric approach that actually works. The reverb guitars float breezily into the void as Peep sings one of the few listenable vocal melodies on the project. As the track continues, the instrumental steadily grows more and denser, even incorporating what sounds like choral vocals.

One smoke session later…

The album’s lead single, “Cry Alone” is definitely one of the few bright moments. It does use essentially the same guitar chords throughout the track, but it uses multiple effects that allow the guitars to sound much more varied than they actually are. The guitars also feel much punchier than some of the other tracks.

“Sex with My Ex” physically hurts to listen to. Like, I had to bring the volume down on my laptop to the first level to avoid blowing out my eardrums. Peep roughly delivers his whiny vocal inflection slathered in autotune creating this sound that is inarguably grating.

The record’s closer, “Fingers” is not mind-blowing, but it does have some of the most infectious earworms on the record. Not to mention the transformation from a looped buzzy guitar instrumental to a lighter almost ambient instrumental sounds gorgeous.

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Overall: 3/10

Best songs: “Cry Alone,” “Fingers” and “16 Lines”

Worst song: “Sex with My Ex”

It is unfortunate for Peep’s seemingly last effort to be such a disappointment. While his other noticeable releases, “Hellboy” and “Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 1” were by no means spectacular, they both felt far more consistent and memorable. Even the highlights here cannot hold a flame to the highlights on these project.

It is apparent that many of the songs here are leftovers that should have been developed more or just not released at all. Hopefully, there is still enough material to create at least one more project, even if it is a b-sides compilation.

Henry Netherland can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @NetherlandHenry.