Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ new album is ‘This Unruly Mess I’ve Made,’ their first since their multi-Grammy winning and platinum certified ‘The Heist.’ Much anticipation and high expectations surround this latest release and now the music critics are weighing in. Here’s a roundup of reviews.
The Seattle-based hip-hop duo rose to global stardom in 2012 with ‘The Heist,’ their independently produced album which topped charts all over the world and won four Grammys and drew much attention, above and beyond the four international smash hits that the album spawned, including ‘Thrift Shop,’ which kicked it all in to high gear, giving them a raucous rise to fame and put them under the glare of scrutiny as white performers to achieve a level of success second only to Eminem.
They returned to the scene with new music with the infectious ‘Downtown’ which featured the proverbial who’s-who of 1970s funk, with such legends as Melle Mel, Grandmaster Caz and Kool Moe Dee among many others.
In an interview, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis said of it, “That’s the first time that they’ve ever recorded on one record. So that was really awesome to have that moment be shared on one of our songs.”
They followed that up with their edgy and controversial nine-minute long ‘White Privilege II,’ sparking discussion on those still-uncomfortable topics of cultural appropriation, racism, and equality. They drew even more attention — and ire– as they name-checked certain performers. Macklemore told The New York Times, “It’s really messy subject matter, and it has a lot of areas that are like, “Oh, don’t go there, don’t say that, don’t do that.” So people stay silent, and the system perpetuates itself.”
Now as the new album arrives in full, the critics are weighing in on the duo’s latest efforts. Here’s a roundup of what’s being said.
“….On the other side are the lectures and confessions, like the addiction narrative “Kevin” and “White Privilege II,” in which Macklemore unpacks his complicated relationship with the advantages that helped make him and Mr. Lewis stars…….” –The New York Times
“….Well intentioned but frequently clumsy (“I want to be Hugh Jackman/ you know jacked, man”), the record demonstrates that the duo’s skills haven’t yet caught up to their ambition…..” –The Boston Globe
Check back for more reviews as they arrive. Expectations are high, as it’s been four years since that meteoric rise to fame for the duo. In the meantime you can see the music videos plus the full tracklisting and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ ‘This Unruly Mess I’ve Made’ album cover art below.