To say that “Eternal Atake” is a project that’s been shrouded in music industry conflict and controversy is an understatement. Since Philadelphia rapper Lil Uzi Vert announced the title on Twitter in 2018, he’s been fighting an uphill battle against his former label in an attempt to fully release this second studio album.
His first studio project, titled “Luv Is Rage 2,” was met with wide acclaim upon its release from publications such as DJBooth and Pitchfork, which has helped fuel the hype for “Eternal Atake.” After several delays and teasers regarding the release date, Uzi shook the entire Internet to its core when he dropped the project during the late morning hours on Friday.
At a reasonable one hour and two-minute runtime with 18 tracks — two being bonus singles — “Eternal Atake” is a project that provides a solid amount of new Uzi material after a long wait. For the most part, each track has its fair share of attractive qualities that longtime Uzi fans will adore. However, as a full body of work, “Eternal Atake” isn’t without its flaws.
As an opening track, “Baby Pluto” does a sensational job of setting a whimsical tone for the project. The production is ruled by its dazzling chimes and a punchy trap beat, along with Uzi delivering some braggadocious lines and solid flow. Uzi’s music has always relied on creating a sort of intoxicating world for his listeners to get lost in, and ''Eternal Atake'' is no different.
This album’s best quality comes in the form of its expensive and exciting production. The stylistic choices Uzi makes on this project to match his demonic, twisted aesthetic make “Eternal Atake” an album that sounds like music pulled from the deepest corners of outer space. It can be argued that this is nothing new for the artist, but its execution still solidifies Uzi as someone who occupies a lane of his own.
When one listens to songs such as “Prices” and “Celebration Station,” it’ll be a challenge to not revisit them just to get another taste of their production. They both offer a fun listening experience because of the lighthearted nature of the production. It’s also a delight to hear Uzi flow like greased lightning on the majority of the tracklist. He sounds like he’s having a great time.
While these songs individually have positive qualities, where “Eternal Atake” suffers is in how fast its luster can wear off after a while. Listening to the entire album in one sitting may easily make someone’s mind numbingly tired of Uzi’s voice and the sonic palette of his music. It doesn’t help that this project is painfully repetitive on the songwriting front as well. Songs like “You Better Move” are unwritten, plain annoying and offer very little reason to be revisited. “P2” is essentially a watered down version of Uzi’s hit “XO Tour Llif3,” which is a shame considering it's what finishes the album off — not counting the bonus tracks.
“Eternal Atake” is an album that’s either best enjoyed in small doses or as if one is a die hard Uzi fan who’s been desperate for his new music. There are some atmospherically dark and compelling elements to these tracks, as well as some entertaining interludes at the end of every song, but these are only flashes in the pan. It’s a pleasure to see Uzi finally release this body of work after so much holding him back, but “Eternal Atake” just barely serves as a thank you gift for fans’ patience.
Contact Julian Denizard at email@example.com. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze