macklemore & Ryan lewis: "This unruly mess i've made" album review

I used to not be a fan of Macklemore for the same reason that kids won't eat their broccoli; they just know it's not good without giving it a try.  That mindset holds back not just your nutrition as a growing child, but as a music listener.  Keeping an open mind regarding music is important otherwise you'd be missing out on some great stuff!  I was properly introduced to Macklemore's music by my roommate/brother-from-another-mother when I lived in Oregon in late 2013-early 2014.  His song "Same Love" hit my soul HARD.  This comes from a man who's interest in hip-hop and rap is very picky.  From there on, I was hooked to what this Seattle native was doing.  Thank you Joshuan for opening my musical mind to the duo of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

Flash forward to 2016.  Macklemore & Ryan Lewis release their second album "This Unruly Mess I've Made".  Recorded throughout 2013 leading up to the new year, 13 songs emerge to take you on a journey with each track that demands your attention.  It should also be noted Macklemore & Ryan Lewis self-released this album.  A ballsy move for those of their stature but a smart move nonetheless!  

The chemistry Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have is on strong display on EVERY track of "This Unruly Mess I've Made" from the 6 and a half minute opener "Light Tunnels" to the mellow paced "Growing Up" that features Singer/Songwriter Ed Sheeran.  Macklemore has his heart on his sleeve and his honest opinion on the table on this record, especially on "Growing Up".  The song's central theme is based on the realities of becoming a father, figuring out life all the while having this be a song for his unborn baby.  The emotional factor of this song is strong.  Ed Sheeran's contribution to the chorus further pushes the emotion.  Easily my favorite song on this album.

The production on this album couldn't be greater.  Ryan Lewis truly is an underrated producer and unsung hero behind a lot of the duo's hits.  His light shines bright on this record with beats and samples that will have your head bobbing alongside to Macklemore's passionate vocal delivery.  "Kevin" is a clear example of this.  The song also features one of my favorite R&B/Soul singers Leon Bridges contributing to the chorus.  It feels like hip hop gospel.  

I could go on and on about "This Unruly Mess I've Made".  This is a great progression from the duo's debut "The Heist" that doesn't hold back on any subject, as controversial as some may be.  That's art though.  Pushing boundaries and asking questions when no one else is.  Macklemore & Ryan Lewis may have easily made one of the best albums of 2016.  Take a listen with an open mind and see for yourself!

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