“Fighting Demons” Review: A rollercoaster that only goes downhill

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Juice WRLD’s second posthumous album, “Fighting Demons,” largely disappointed. It starts off decently, but as it progresses, it seems like the tracks are merely taking up meaningless space.

Jalen Williams, Radical Reviewer

On Dec. 10, GRADE A Productions released the late Juice WRLD’s, or Jarad Higgins’, second posthumous album and fourth overall studio album. Although it’s not the most upbeat and positive album by any means, it still carries a catchy melody with featured guests including Justin Bieber, SUGA of BTS, Polo G, Trippie Redd and dialogue from Eminem.

Juice WRLD was at the height of his career, preparing for an album rollout when he passed away on Dec. 8, 2019. His claim to fame was fast after he released his now 10× Diamond single, “Lucid Dreams,” in May 2018, and from then on shined in the spotlight until his death. This new album houses around 14 total tracks with four of them being interludes. The purpose of this album serves as a soundtrack about the late rapper’s struggles.

The first track, “Burn,” is my personal favorite. Juice voices his self awareness of constant drug use and later consequences that will come along with it. Even though there’s no central theme of the album, they all fall into a niche of being self aware with several focusing on drug addiction awareness and hopeless love stories. The lyrics are insightful and brave. His puts his life out for all to hear, and the music adds to the feeling of a tortured soul.

However, “You Wouldn’t Understand,” the third track, is a huge decrease in lyrical quality, but the instrumental provides a solid enough sound that the song is still listenable.

The second and fourth tracks, “Already Dead” and “Wandered to LA” featuring Justin Bieber are the lead singles of the album, and “Wandered to LA” is the best constructed track other than “Burn.” Bieber and Juice WRLD play off of each other well with a jazzier, dreamier feel.

After the fourth track, a trend of talking and interludes describing inner thoughts in interviews after every four tracks begins. The fifth track is Eminem’s own segment in which he details his own addiction and what his point of view as an addict was. The ninth track is Juice’s first speaking segment, and he discusses how he relates to fans through music from his own life experiences and previous issues. The 13th track is Juice WRLD’s second speaking segment and is more of a song than an interview. The song’s lyrics are freestyle and the track doesn’t contribute anything story-wise to the album or the story of his life before he passed.

Throughout the sixth and seventh tracks, “Rockstar In His Prime” and “Doom,” an inconsistent pattern of back-and-forths on topics along the lines of substance abuse and abusive relationships without deep detail began. The album began to feel empty and repetitive to an extent.

The trend continues with the eighth and 10th tracks, “Go Hard” and “Not Enough,” which are incredibly mediocre, and don’t have much replay value. They’re boring songs, and it’s at about this point where the average listener would’ve turned off the album. If a listener manages to power through though, the 11th track, “Feline” featuring rappers Polo G and Trippie Redd, most will give up after listening to this poorly mixed compilation of sounds. Furthermore, this track proves that Trippie Redd should stick to singing rather than rapping.

The next song, “Relocate,” is just okay, and the rest of the tracks (13 through 18), with the exception of “Girl Of My Dreams,” aren’t needed at all. They add nothing to the album and feel like dead weight.

“Girl Of My Dreams” with SUGA from BTS, is amazing and a huge surprise at the end of the album after listening to the rest of the songs. Although the song has a slight echo sound effect, the reverb is used correctly and not just as a voice filter on the entire song. SUGA’ s voice is amazing but unfortunately his verse isn’t because his part completely contrasts with what Juice was saying. The entire song is about coming together when SUGA’s added verse is about heartbreak.

Overall this album is more of a flop and caters to the fans that were waiting for more music from his label to be released. Most of the songs on this album were leaked previously, and Juice’s previous album was even cancelled due to songs leaking online. Juice WRLD’s “Fighting Demons”, earns a 5/10 because only half of it is replayable.