By KATIE ATKINSON
Photo credit goes to vice.com.
Following the wild success of his previous album and three years of agonizing anticipation, Chance the Rapper emerged with this third independent body of work May 13.
Playful and bright, Coloring Book feels more like a religious experience than a mixtape. While it may feel a bit underwhelming given the wait, it’s indisputable that Lil Chano fulfilled his promise to “do a good a** job with Chance 3.”
"Coloring Book" is unlike anything Chance has done before. In Acid Rap, for example, part of the charm that ushered Chano into the limelight was the fact that he seemed like he really didn’t know what he was doing yet. It felt like a journey in which Chance was taking listeners on, packed with nostalgia and a bit of unfamiliarity.
Coloring Book has a completely different feel, partly because of all the features by people like Young Thug, 2 Chainz and Justin Bieber -- features that, in my opinion, take away from the image that Chance has previously portrayed.
Chance is a bit more in his element for Coloring Book. And it’s going to take some adjusting to.
For me, the two songs that shine the most in Coloring Book are “Same Drugs” and “Smoke Break.” “Same Drugs” is sweet, light, and lyrically enthralling, while “Smoke Break” showcases an excellent pairing of Chance and Future -- something that I previously would have never considered, but it ended up working very, very well.
These songs represent the best moments of Coloring Book and the brightest pieces of Chance’s latest project. The rest of the album falls a bit short for me. It’s good, but not very memorable.
“No Problem” and “All Night” are honorable mentions in this mixtape, but they don’t quite hit the mark. I rank “Juke Jam” even lower; it doesn’t feel like Chance at all.
While listening, I imagine Drank crooning alongside Justin Bieber instead. Chance goes for it, which is admirable. But he doesn’t quite satisfy.
Coloring Book is a modpodge of grandiose gospel samples and druggie whispering -- a veritable showcase of songs that don’t quite feel like the Chance I love. Some things work, but the majority just does not.
Overall, the mixtape makes for an interesting follow up to Chance’s previous work.
It’s a bold musical experiment that meets expectations but doesn’t exceed them. And, as discussed in his feature on Kanye’s “Ultralight Beam,” that won’t work if Chance really wants to “snatch the grammy.”