Running the range from heavy headbanging to raw funk, Barely Alive's new album is called Odyssey, it’s 14 tracks tall and features the likes of Virus Syndicate, Great Good Fine Ok, Splitbreed, IAMSU, Mad Hed City and Nah Mean. This album is more than just a bunch of singles slapped together, this is a journey into time and space, and Barely Alive gives this album one of the best retro style themes I've ever seen in EDM.
To start the journey off, Barely Alive starts with the title track “Odyssey” which starts off with a retro 80's synthwave vibe that leads into a massive dubstep drop that'll rock you to the core. The 2nd track is “Know About Me” another heavy hitting dubstep track that is vintage Barely Alive. The track ends with what sounds like someone getting out of a time travel machine and entering the year 1983.
Folks, this is where this album takes a stark turn. Track 3 is “Deeper In Love” featuring Great Good Ok Fine, and it is straight 80's R&B funk. There is no drop, no surprise bass, it is just one of the funkiest tracks I've heard in a long time. After this track are 4 more solid bass heavy tracks that go hand in hand with what you would expect from Barely Alive – monster drops that give you that bass stank face we all know.
“New Coupe : Ride Out” feat Iamsu! is next and starts off as a straight up trap inspired rap track. About half way through the beat flips in what sounds like someone switching the dial on a radio and turns into what sounds like a vintage early 2000's rap beat. An absolutely incredible switch-up which ends with another dial switch on the radio and “War Of The Worlds” begins.
“War Of The Worlds” sounds like something out of an 80's space movie. With an extremely dark and heavy synthwave to start the track off, you get what sounds like a radio broadcast sighting some type of unidentified creature. About halfway through, once again Barely Alive switches it up. We get taken straight into a 1980's video game with some of the craziest synth work I've heard in a long time. Nostalgia kicked in BIG TIME when I heard this switch up. This was hands down my favorite part of the album.
As that wraps up, we get my overall favorite track of the album “Buddy” feat. Yves Paquet, another funky retro R&B track. With absolutely amazing vocals, tremendous piano samples, and a funky, groovy beat, I couldn't get this song out of my head all day. The Odyssey wraps up with 4 more bass inspired tracks that are dubstep, drum & bass, and even some crazy synthesizer bass on the final track “Over” ft. Nah Mean.
Overall, Odyssey is one of my favorite albums of the year and I am EXTREMELY impressed with the mixing of genres on this album, something I'd like to see more in EDM. Take a listen to the full album below and let me know if you agree with me!