Slauson Malone Feels the Pain of the Twenty First Century in “A Quiet Farwell, Twenty Sixteen to Twenty Eighteen”

Daniel Blackwell, Reporter

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     Slauson Malone’s 2019 album “A Quiet Farwell, Twenty Sixteen to Twenty Eighteen” is an auditory collage of slowed, pitched samples with harsh cuts between moments of euphoria and deep depressions. The album carries the harsh themes of an impending end of the world and thoughts of suicide though dark, distressed lyrics and painfully slowed and broken feeling samples.

     The album seemingly follows a story of the end of the world, from the perspective of a man who is having a hard time living, and has conflicted feelings about the past. The main character speaks openly about depression, and expresses thoughts of suicide both directly and indirectly through their dark lyrics and sample choice.

     Some tones the album displays includes depression, stasis, and longing. These tones interchange throughout the album, with some songs, such as “

Image Courtesy of Pitchfork Media

01/01/09, My feet’s hurt ‘I was a fugitive but then I realized there was nowhere to run to’” carrying a definite depressed tone, while a song like Smile #4 carries much more of a tone of stasis and longing toward the past.

      Examples of  lyrics implying a loathing of the past include, “You look close, you could really see your past on repeat- Tracin’ every step back like I’m dragging my feet.” When Malone uses the word choice of “dragging my feet” it implies that he is retracing his past with a sense of depression or sadness, as the dragging feet typically implies sadness or depression.

      Another powerful song from the album, “08/09/14, Smile #1”, has the lyrics, “The days come back in time-Said the days come back in time-I seen the days come back in time.” The last line, “I have seen the days come back in time” repeats four times. This set of lyrics reinforces the tone of the longing for the past, and the lack of any joy in the present. 

The last line is seemingly repeated as he is trying to convince himself that it’s the truth.

      The album concludes with a tone of acceptance within the song, “Two Thousand Eighteen, Bye.” The song uses a slowed sample of  William Bell’s 1965 somber R and Btrack, “Crying All By Myself.” Malone also talks over the track, with reflective lyrics that make the listener feel like Malone is moving forward. 

    Slauson Malone’s “A Quiet Farewell, Twenty Sixteen to Twenty Eighteen” is a great atmospheric album, which really puts the listener in the front seat of Malone’s depressing and broken feeling existence. The album continues to maintain my attention, even after countless listens. I would recommend this album to anybody who’s willing to hear an auditory collage of depressed samples, dark lyrics, and odd distortions.