Eternal Atake Album Review

Eternal Atake Album Review

Andrew Parrot

Lil Uzi Vert- “Eternal Atake” Album Review

By Andrew Parrot

Philadelphia rapper Lil Uzi Vert has just released his highly anticipated sophomore album, “Eternal Atake.” Originally gaining buzz off his trio of successful mixtapes in the mid-2010s, Uzi’s debut album “Luv is Rage 2” released in 2017 to mixed reviews. 

In the almost three years since then, Uzi’s next record has been nowhere to be found, but the leadup to “Eternal Atake” has been anything but quiet. From his copyright battle with the Heaven’s Gate cult to his early 2019 “retirement” from music, every move Uzi has made in the past few years has built hype for this new record. Also, the handful of singles that he’s dropped have been some of his best work to date, namely the lively dance track “Futsal Shuffle 2020” and “That Way,” which interpolates the Backstreet Boys’ 1999 megahit “I Want it That Way.” Both of these songs end up on “Eternal Atake” as bonus tracks. 

As the surprise release date of the album approached, Uzi began taking to Twitter to share the album’s intergalactically-themed cover and the short film “Baby Pluto,” both of which alluded to some sort of narrative or story that would be told on the project. 

To say the least, anticipation was high for the album, which seemed to be right around the corner. This assumption would prove to be correct, as Uzi decided to drop the album without warning around 7:15 a.m. on Friday, March 6. Just like that, the world got the opportunity to experience “Eternal Atake.” 

Now, with all of the context out of the way, how is the actual music on the record? 

Well, I can say two things definitively. First, that “Eternal Atake” is a marked improvement from “Luv is Rage 2,” and secondly that “Eternal Atake” did not live up to the hype Uzi and others had set out for it. 

This album, in my opinion, includes some of the best tracks Uzi has ever released. It starts very strong, with the high-energy and otherworldly “Baby Pluto” and “Lo Mein,” which both feature some of the fast rapping reminiscent of Uzi’s early work. The latter is especially catchy and features an ear-grabbing mixture of straight rapping and melodic embellishments that have come to define the sound of Lil Uzi Vert. 

Then, on the next four tracks, he finds a way to up the energy even more. Although all of the songs in this stretch of the album are decent, my favorite example of this fast-paced type of Uzi track is the song “POP.” This song is a ball of infectious trap energy, a four-minute barrage of materialistic brags and witty one-liners. Over an off-kilter and alien-sounding instrumental, Uzi’s flow is dynamic, frequently changing up and pushing his cadence to the very edge of being in sync with the beat. 

The same can be said for the song “Homecoming,” whose instrumental is so good that it is easy to overlook the sharp hook that Uzi provides. I think that this initial stretch of songs on “Eternal Atake” constitute what is easily the best intro to any Lil Uzi album, and possibly one of the best of any rap album so far this year. 

Up until this point on the album, the quality of each song has been very high. I would even go so far as to say that if these first six songs were assembled into an EP or short project it would be one of the best things Uzi has ever touched. 

However, there are still 12 more tracks remaining on the project, and this is where the bulk of my criticisms lie. 

After the track “Homecoming,” this album takes a nosedive in quality almost immediately. The songs on the second act of this album take a more melodic and sweet approach, which leads to some of the most long-winded and formulaic tracks Uzi has ever dropped. 

The songs “Bigger than Life” and the Chief Keef-produced “Chrome Heart Tags” feel like Uzi by the numbers, and feature almost nothing distinct, from the instrumentals to the flows to the lyrics. And when Uzi isn’t delivering boring songs, he’s giving us tracks that are just plain bad. Hearing Uzi try to pull off a duet with Syd on “Urgency” goes as badly as one could imagine, and the album’s closer “P2” is one of Uzi’s worst songs ever. He essentially takes the melody from his 2016 track “XO Tour Life” and tries to re-do the song over a slightly changed beat, hoping it will achieve the same success as its predecessor. 

“P2” is peak unoriginality and laziness from Uzi and the most extreme example of songs on “Eternal Atake” that are far too derivative. Although the final stretch of this album does have some duds, it’s not all bad. The songs “Bust Me” and “Venetia” both feature incredibly ethereal beats and melodies from Uzi that have ingrained themselves in my mind since the album’s release. In addition, the aforementioned bonus tracks “Futsal Shuffle 2020” and “That Way” are some of the best on the album as well. Nonetheless, the final 12 tracks of the album fail to hold up the phenomenal intro of the record. 

All in all, “Eternal Atake” is a slightly above-average trap album. However, my biggest disappointment lies in that statement as well; “Eternal Atake” is just a slightly above-average trap album. Everything about this album wants you to believe that it is something more than another generic rap record, from the short film to the album cover to the short skits that mark the end of each track. 

This album gained so much hype over its three-year creation period that many fans like me tentatively hoped that Uzi would deliver an album that served as a benchmark in the genre, similar to Travis Scott’s “Rodeo” or Young Thug’s “Jeffrey”. Despite this unimaginable hype, after dozens of listens to “Eternal Atake”, it is apparent that it is not that genre-defining album. It is a decent album, probably the best Uzi has ever released, but nothing more than that. 

 

Favorite Tracks: “Baby Pluto”, “Lo Mein”, “Silly Watch”, “POP”, “Homecoming”, “Bust Me”, “Venetia”, “Futsal Shuffle 2020”, “That Way”

 

Least Favorite Track: “P2”

Score: 6/10