What more can Capetonian rave-rap duo Die Antwoord offer us with their fourth album? It definitely contains all the elements you’d expect: incredibly vulgar and shocking lyrics, quirky and varied instrumentals and electronic beats etc. However, this time around their new ideas are bit of a mix of hits and misses.
The first two singles ‘Banana Brain’ – a definite success with the hard rave beats, breakbeat interludes and good structure – and ‘We Have Candy’ – the opening track which was certainly different with its theatrical horror-themed piano and background choir informing us that Ninja likes his coffee black “like his soul” – showed how varied this album was possibly going to be. While some of these lyrics were a little cliché, ¥o-landi’s line “Sometimes I get sad and I cut myself…..a piece of cake!” regrettably made me chuckle. These theatrical themes also continue onto the track ‘Alien’ where ¥o-landi sings about being an outsider- its waltzing instrumentals wouldn’t be misplaced in a Broadway show – and the track ‘Rats Rule’, featuring Jack Black doing some pirate-esque vocals accompanied by gothic organ chords.
There also features some badly-disguised clichéd filler tracks with their generic trap and G-funk beats such as ‘Street Light’ and ‘Shit Just Got Real’. Furthermore, the interlude tracks featuring seemingly pre-pubescent rapper Lil Tommy Terror are incredibly disturbing and cringe-worthy. While some other songs are a bit predictable, the album ended well with the raving and texturally varied “I Don’t Care”.
While this album isn’t making me feel much more than indifferent, I have a feeling that most who listen to Die Antwoord albums usually end up picking and choosing their favourite tracks anyway and this is definitely the case here.