Album-Review: Quadeca – I Didn't Mean To Haunt You

I Didn't Mean To Haunt You is the third album by American YouTube rapper Quadeca. On this new album, Benjamin Lasky continues his journey towards being and being recognized as a professional musician and artist. I Didn't Mean To Haunt You is quite the left-turn for him as a new genre-blend pushes the YouTube rap stylings into the background. The album sounds like a mix of Bon Iver's folk, the lo-fi bedroom pop of, let's say, Steve Lacy as well as the electronic and ambient sides of Radiohead. Subsequently, Lasky now is going to be put up against these giants as a fellow musician and while I Didn't Mean To Haunt You certainly is uniquely produced following a captivating ghost story, the album has a few weaknessess making it pale in comparison. Most notably, Lasky's vocals are nowhere near as good as the respective singers of the aforementioned interprets. They are weak, whiny and buried in the mixes of the songs which are generally very muddy. Combine this with the sometimes too overblown production and I Didn't Mean To Haunt You might alienate you, the listener, at its supposedly climactic moments. My least favourite part of the record are its rap segments though. Lasky is an even weaker rapper than he is a singer in my opinion. The only rap feature of Danny Brown is pretty insane, nevertheless it comes out of nowhere on house settling. The lowest point of I Didn't Mean To Haunt You follows shortly after with the abrasive knots. While the instrumentation is definitely interesting, Lasky's vocals I cannot take seriously. He just doesn't have the vocal chops pull such a tune off effectively. There are some big highlights in the tracklist though. The album has a particularly strong opening with sorry4dying and then the very good tell me a joke. The next two tracks are decent as well, but they slightly fall off due to their rap interludes for me. The final segment of the album is fine as well. fantasyworld's calm and collected beginning finally gives Lasky's voice some space and it works well. Then, the song builds towards an epic climax which is quite satisfactory. The song is followed up by a more placatory piece in fractions of infinity including a beautiful feature from the Sunday Service Choir. The closing track has some cool ambience but can't entirely keep up with the directly preceeding material.
So, as you might have noticed, I am a little conflicted on I Didn't Mean To Haunt You. On my first listen I got a lot of enjoyment out of the record with some passages I didn't really care for. My second listen was much more uncomfortable. There were a lot of moments that took me out of the experience and some of the songs I liked before, I enjoyed less. For the future, I also have the feeling I won't be returning much to I Didn't Mean To Haunt You. I think the album is a big step for Benjamin Lasky as a musician under the alias of Quadeca – and I can understand how someone would love this album. It has a very dense atmosphere and a lot of awesome production. For me personally, there's just too much holding I Didn't Mean To Haunt You back from being an album I thoroughly enjoy all the way through.

6 / 10

  1. sorry4dying | 80
  2. tell me a joke | 85
  3. don't mind me | 75
  4. picking up hands | 75
  5. born yesterday | 70
  6. the memories we lost in translation | NR
  7. house settling (feat. Danny Brown) | 65
  8. knots | 55
  9. fantasyworld | 80
  10. fractions of infinity | 85
  11. cassini's division | 70