The Internet, with Hive Mind, are this Music Generation's Picture Perfect Family
Evan Dale // Jul 22, 2018
In discussion with modern musicians, one of the most blaring consistencies is universal admiration for and influence of The Internet. Consistency in fact, being one of the things most difficult to achieve not only in influence, but also in product, is perhaps one of the traits most drawing to what was once more or less an Odd Future spin off collaborative and is now one of the most influential and transcendentally capable groups in all of music. Their music is the world’s of the past, present, and future. As innovative as they are respectful; as daring as they are mature by traditional standards, The Internet is a group not unlike some of history’s most renowned where a smattering of wildly talented individuals come together in multiplication and pure creation. Amidst a music spectrum defined most notably by the modern workings of hip-hop, R&B, neo-soul, electronic, and indefinable pop born from the bedroom walls of youngsters, The Internet is here with the release of a new full-length album, Hive Mind – a title all-encapsulating enough to live up to the music. Music which itself surpasses even these wild times.
Similar in growth to all of their previous work, Hive Mind continues the group’s effort to expand and experiment boldly, having no trouble pushing any boundary that they seemingly confront yet often holding back and finding comfort in their bread and butter. Subtle vocals highlighted by the sensual, soulful Syd and under-toned by the mellow Steve Lacey; Funk-modern production and idealism from Matt Martians; The broad instrumental strokes necessary for any band, shot into the stratosphere by Patrick Paige ll, Christopher Smith, and Lacey’s guitar. Those bread and butter moments, as reminiscent of The Internet’s long-established sound as they may be, ring true to the group’s knack for never existing within one idea or one moment, shifting and transforming wildly into another sound, another style, another push. It makes the entire project an experiment, and it pays off.
Expectedly enough for a modern group so indefinable in their personal reaches and equally so in their collective history, The Internet unearths Hive Mind’s identity in its ability to have many. Labeling it any one genre would be an insult to its progressive texture which is founded on their past exploits, but borrows from the rest of music’s breadth. It’s simply a modern album and it’s undeniably The Internet, and that’s why it’s so good.
The Internet sounds a lot like, for lack of a better term, the internet. Hive Mind is an inviting cross-section into music’s wide-ranging reach in the technology era where the traditionalist foundations of genre are crumbling and in their places are emerging transcendental sounds of an individualistic artist’s influences. The Internet, with many artists, many sounds, and many influences, simply has the talent to pull it off, and they do so spectacularly with the album’s stylistic diversity and foundational skillsets.
There are of course underlying traits that make the listener consistently aware that they’re listening to the musical genius of the five-part collaborative – smooth, seductive under-breath vocals, explosive Steve Lacey guitar solos, electro-funk engineering, and beachy vibes – but with Hive Mind, The Internet at times dives in heads first to brass play jazz, unprecedented cadence shifts and mood swings, and even what can best be described as a new take on contemporary elevator groove.
In a word, Hive Mind is smooth. In three, it’s smooth as fuck.
Sure, traditional R&B fans will find plenty to love about its sound. But in equal measure, so will fans of Motown, rock, neo-soul, hip-hop, jazz, and mellow pop. Because really, The Internet, after such a vast multidirectional undressing of music in the wake of online platforms, streaming services, and de-genrefication, has somehow birthed a sonic texture resembling something of a confluence. Perhaps no modern group has ever come together with the individual chops and variance necessary to pull it off; Perhaps they just have the conglomerate teamsmanship required; Or perhaps yet, they’re simply the first in the streaming service era to be as wild, free, and simultaneously grassroots musical as the era so firmly aims to be. Through the deconstruction of traditional genre, the blending of its broken pieces, and the pure talent to bring it all together, The Internet with Hive Mind, has perhaps molded this musical era’s most defining and all-inclusive project, indefinable in its sound, sound in its indefinability.