Music Monday: ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’ by Skrillex Album Review
If you read last week’s ‘Music Monday’, then you would know that I had promised to review Skrillex this week. Last week’s post was also a dubstep review, and as I am really exploring this genre right now, I still have a few more dubstep-themed reviews planned for the coming weeks (though I might switch it up a little bit!). This week’s review is of Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, an album by Skrillex.
The first song on the album, Rock ‘n’ Roll (Will Take You to the Mountain), is a fantastic party track. The second song, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, I could also see as a mainstream club banger. I would actually describe Skrillex as being more ‘mainstream’ dubstep than some of the other artists I’ve heard. His songs are very radio-ready, even if they don’t get air play (at least where I am!) In both the first 2 songs, Skrillex manages to mix catchy dance beats with dubstep. While other artists tend to make their music very bass and dubstep heavy, Skrillex creates a balance. This means that Skrillex’s music can appeal to a variety of people – from electronic music fans, to top 40 pop-lovers. Skrillex continues this mainstream sound in the 3rd song, Kill Everybody. Another great thing about Skrillex is the fact that the majority of his music is very danceable. Not all dubstep is danceable, but more an experience for the listener, one who enjoys the heavy bass and ‘crazy’ beats.
The next song, All I Ask of You (feat. Penny), is my least favorite on the album. I really don’t like this song as much as I have enjoyed Skrillex’s other work. I think part of it is that I found the voice of the singer (Penny) throughout the song to be a bit frustrating. The song overall has a mellow beat, but once Penny starts singing, my ears become distracted by her distinctive (some might say annoying) vocal style, instead of the music. It could also be that I didn’t care much for the lyrics. That’s not to say that it’s a bad song, it’s just not Skrillex’s best. In the next song, Scatta (feat. Foreign Beggars & Bare Noize), Skrillex makes a big leap away from the ‘mainstream’ dance sound he had in the first 3 songs. Featuring rap, a heavy bass and an electronic tune playing throughout the song that is reminiscent of an organ, Scatta sounds dark and urban. If you’re a fan of hip-hop being mixed with dubstep, than you’ll like this song. I actually like the rapping in this song (I’m not the biggest rap fan, but I’ll give it a chance.) and the ‘organ’ tune in the song gives it an edge I enjoy.
With You, Friends (Long Drive) comes next on the album, and I’d list this song as my second least song behind, All I Ask of You (feat. Penny). Since this is the last song on the album that isn’t a remix, maybe Skrillex wanted to end with a ‘lighter’ sounding song. I like this song much more than All I Ask of You, but it is comparably weaker to the album’s other songs. Featuring a piano, slow beats and high-pitched electronic voices, if you’re not a die-hard fan of everything electronic music, than you may agree with me. To me, the song just sounds very flat. It could very well be the most melody/beats-coordinated song on the album, and yet that’s what makes it one of my least favorites. However, Owl City fans will probably take a liking to this song, as it does at times become very reminiscent of the Owl City’s music. The next 3 remixes on the album, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites (Noisa Remix), Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites (Zedd Remix) and Kill Everybody (Bare Noize Remix), are all very good. Each remix truly reinvents the original song, and they’re all worth a listen if you’re a fan of Skrillex (though dance & electronic lovers will like them too!).
In conclusion, I do enjoy this album even though it has 2 songs that I don’t particular care for. ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’ is a great addition to any dubstep fan’s collection, and I definitely suggest Skrillex for newbies just getting into the genre.