Angsty and exciting; Watsky’s Complaint is a high energy, yet cathartic experience.

A new year always brings with it some exciting new music. 2019 is no different. On the 11th January, we were gifted Complaint by Watsky, his fifth studio album which feels to be a very catchy, cathartic album that alludes to be a step up from his previous work.

Welcome to the Family, the opening track on the record and the very first one that I listened to from this release was the benchmark. I loved it both as a track, and as an opening for the album, it works amazingly well. A song with so many different layers, it truly gives the impression of a big and colourful family. Despite how it colourful it may be, it is, in fact, a softer track. The piano and vocals that welcome you to the song don’t speak for the whole album. Whilst it’s not the track I would queue up at a party, I still love it and is my favourite uplifting song at the moment.

As seen with all the releases on his prior albums, Complaint certainly has a message beyond the beat. Watsky teaches that we can all fear that we’re “petty at best, someone to pity at worst” but it doesn’t mean we’re the only ones. His music explains that no complaints and no conversation can cover how mediocre we can all feel at times. What makes his music so special is that he covers this message with a series of pop beats that mean his music can also transcend into party playlists, its these juxtaposing experiences that make his music a malleable blend of catharsis, despair and positivity.

Whilst we are discussing catharsis, Mean Ass Drunk gets out a fit of anger that feels to be brimming under the surface of this entire release. A combination of percussion and a simple guitar rhythm fused with Watsky’s verse pointedly being played over the top, this track works tremendously well. Whilst the album does showcase high energy backing tracks, Watsky’s passionate message delivered through its verses makes his songs intimate for the solo listener and catchy for a rabble at a party. Mean Ass Drunk encompasses this notion perfectly.

It is an obvious observation that Complaint posses’ elements that can be seen throughout the entirety of Watsky’s discography to date. The fast-paced rap, motivational messages laced within melancholic lyrics and an undeniably catchy beat are all stapes of his work. However, Complaint definitely feels more fleshed out than past albums, I feel as though this could be down to the messages. It feels like Watsky has developed an ageing soul, one trying to unpick the world that surrounds him more than ever before. When you think about it, we’re all just angsty teens at heart but it’s what we choose to complain about that defines our outlooks. I think that Complaint is a good place to start for a non-Watsky listener, it may be more of an album that’s for personal listen, however, there are a few tracks on there that will get you through a house party.

4/5 Bytes

Written by Guest Writer,
Ayesha Harris


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