Friday, September 30th, Denzel Curry released the Extended Edition of Melt My Eyez See Your Future, which came out earlier this year.
I would like to start this review off by stating, I am, and always have been, a hater of deluxe albums in the streaming era. Especially in recent years, artists have been churning out "Deluxe" editions that are nothing more than a few tracks that missed the cut, a slightly different cover, and sometimes a significantly worse listening order (looking at you, Ye), just to squeeze out a few more album sales for a last ditch attempt to stay on the charts. While this makes sense for physical copies, where these half-baked tracks would never see the light of day if not for a Deluxe Edition, streaming allows artists to release singles or EPs independently, without messing with the original artistry of the original album.
I only say this because I would like to emphasize how Melt My Eyez See Your Future (The Extended Edition) shatters this in every single way. While most Deluxe albums don't often change my opinion of the original, this new cut of Melt My Eyez See Your Future is a more than significant addition to the original album, which enhances the listening experience in a way that most Deluxe takes do not, and may even be my favorite Hip-Hop album of the year.
Where Denzel does things differently on The Extended Edition is his addition of the 10-piece ensemble Cold Blooded Soul, which appeared earlier in Denzel's Tiny Desk Concert, transforming eight tracks from the original album with live soul instrumentation and vocals. In addition to this, the Extended Edition adds two new tracks in the same style, "Chrome Hearts [Feat. Zacari] and "Larger than Life", produced by Kenny Beats. The Cold Blooded Soul versions of Melt My Eyez sound entirely different than anything Denzel, or most other rappers right now on that note, have ever tried in their releases and proves how sonically and artistically fluid he is with his music.
Take X-Wing - Cold Blooded Soul Version, for example. This version takes the same bars and flow of the original, but it transforms it from a heavy trap hit with booming 808s to a relaxing soul song with smooth saxophone licks and a killer guitar solo on the back-end. Although it is the same song, it has been translated across genres seamlessly to make something completely new and distinct. The re-recorded vocals for each track help this a lot, rather than the usual reusing of vocals for remixes. If only X-Wing was remade as a soul song, I would've been amazed, but The Extended Edition takes the majority of the original and reimagines them in this new style. Sure many people can make good music, but great music has the ability to transfer genres and styles and still be great.
The instrumentation in these 10 new tracks is some of the best I have ever heard in a rap album. From the epic, grand symphonics which sound straight out of a spy thriller, to the lowkey high-hats and phenomenal drum fills, to the subtle sprinklings of piano and guitar licks littered throughout the soul section of the album, the Extended cut creates an entirely distinct sound unheard of in the rap community. I would describe the Cold Blooded Soul versions as a live album from an alternate universe where things are just more soulful, smooth and infinitely cooler.
What Denzel Curry and Cold Blooded Soul did on Melt My Eyez See Your Future (The Extended Edition) should be dissected and studied like an alien from another planet. It is hard to pick a side when deciding between the original or soul versions of the album, and I think that is enough to declare this project an overwhelming success. Denzel Curry remains one of the most consistently impactful, dedicated, and talented artists in the game today, and in my opinion this album has cemented him as one of the greats.
I sincerely hope that other rappers use this as a blueprint for the level of quality expected from a Deluxe album. Stream Melt My Eyez See Your Future (The Extended Edition) here: