Words by Sam Harris
Image credit: Bella Howard
A year since his passing, Lil Peep’s highly anticipated part 2 to 2017’s Come Over When You’re Sober has finally dropped. An ambitious project realised through a close friend and producer Smokesaac along with family and friends, COWYS part 2 is a generous mix and decent balance of reimagined tracks and unreleased songs that brilliantly sum up the late artist talent and originality.
It’s difficult to get over the almost uncomfortable strangeness and eerie atmosphere of the album, Peep’s ubiquitous themes of heartbreak, depression and drug abuse found in every previous project of his gives each track a heavyweight to them. These themes are ever present in the unique and almost trademark blend of traditional emo melodies and alternative rock structures that when placed over gritty trap beats become the formula for a Lil Peep song.
Ignoring the controversial collaboration with the late Xxxtentacion, the album stretches just over forty minutes, with the addition of bonus track Sunlight On Your Skin, a heartfelt track created with Makonnen during Peep’s career, the track hasn’t been tampered with much for the album apart from some sharper mixing and a small extension for an outro.
Each track on the album is evidence that Peep had a gift to articulate his thoughts and feelings not only into something to relate to but into something that seems so genuine, there’s a terrifying sense of helplessness that comes with the overarching motif of isolation, loss and love that we see in Come Over When You’re Sober. Although the album might not be the best flowing between tracks or have hits similar to Awful Things on them, it’s a brilliant celebration of the artist and their career.
Peep started gaining traction in late 2016 with the release of his fourth and final mixtape Hellboy, which gave us the tracks such as Girls that gained Lil Peep millions of views on YouTube, after this a successful string of singles including the infamous Witchblades featuring Lil Tracy, Absolute in Doubt with Wicca Phase and Avoid allowed the Rhode Island native to build up a huge fan base spreading across the globe before finally releasing the first part to his debut album in the August of 2017 and selling out a worldwide tour. Surrounded in a scene that was already suffering from short-lived artists, drug abuse and overdramatic backstabbing, Peep managed to twist his image into something that was comical in a way, despite the nature of his music he was never caught up in the violent circle that could’ve potentially ruined him, but instead he kept to himself and the GothBoiClique and made himself into that of an artist deserving more than the mundane “Soundcloud rapper” label.
Throughout the album, and especially on tracks like Runaway, Peep often reflects on his own mortality, questioning how long he’ll last in “the game” amongst wishing for his own death. It’s lyrics like these that hit the hardest, and when mixed with an exhausted-sounding delivery and despairing melody creates an atmosphere with a heavy impact that could never be compared.
Production on this record is astounding, Smokesaac clearly has put his all into this, it’s gritty yet slick, eerie but cool, and at the same time feels very personal, especially with every early 2000’s emo inspired melody and ghostly backing vocals. Perhaps not an album for new listeners but definitely one for every fan’s library, it’s a must listen for anyone who appreciated Lil Peep and his music, and whether or not you enjoy it shouldn’t reflect back on the artist itself but on the nature of the record.
Listen to the album here: