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JUICE WRLD FEAT. HALSEY Life’s a Mess gets 8.5/10


Juice WRLD feat. Halsey

Life’s a Mess
Grade A/Interscope

8.5/10

Even though Juice WRLD tragically passed away in December 2019, his music feels as alive as ever in 2020. He has featured on two of the biggest hip hop tracks of the year in Eminem’s Godzilla and The Kid Laroi’s Go, while his posthumous single Righteous was a captivating glimpse at where he was going next as an artist. The late Chicago rapper reportedly had nearly 2,000 unreleased tracks finished when he died, and his new single Life’s a Mess, with alt-pop star Halsey, is the latest revelation ahead of his third album Legends Never Die, out this Friday, July 10.

Life’s a Mess has all the hallmarks of Juice; crisp trap beats, deep synthetic bass, and breezy guitar tied together with an auto-tuned flow. Lyrically, Juice is on familiar ground as well, with musings on issues including mental health, addiction and more broadly the turbulence of youth and romance. The groove really kicks in as Juice laments, “Sometimes life’s a mess/ I get high when get I’m upset,” but finds solace in “searching for something real” and finding it. It’s meditative, sincere and laced with melancholy promise, surmised in the line, “You’ve just got to learn to live and love on.”

It’s only late in the piece that Halsey brings her contribution to the track. On first listen her high-pitched cadence feels a little disruptive to the low end groove that had built up to that point and detracts from the intimacy of the song. However, when the musical backdrop is stripped back to a lush acoustic guitar, it really starts to click. Like all the best songs, the saddest part is when it ends, on this occasion with a swelling string section fading into a hush.

While Juice WRLD’s output during his life was staggering for a 21 year old already, fans can console themselves knowing he has left them with a treasure trove of gold that is still being dug up.

BRAYDEN EDWARDS

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