With all of the attention and massive hype generated by 2015’s Grammy-nominated “Ego Death”, it would have been natural for The Internet’s new album – their first for major label Columbia / Sony – to seek new audiences and to try and “crossover” for lack of a better word.
On the contrary, they seem to have done the opposite; they are pleasing themselves first and their long-time fans, and it’s working. This album shows growth on their own terms. They probably could have featured any vocalist or producer they wanted on “Hive Mind” but instead they opted to keep it tight and personal, adopting a For Us By Us-type mentality.
The only feature on the album comes from Dungeon Family’s Big Rube on the uplifting ‘It Gets Better With Time’, whose deep spoken word marked my childhood with his incredible part on Outkast’s ’13th floor / Growing Old’. They do enlist Montreal’s production wizard Kaytranada once again but they keep his contribution, a remix of ‘Roll (Burbank Funk)’ off the album. After taking some time to focus on various solo projects (Syd, Steve Lacy and Matt Martians all had solo releases in 2017) it must have just been a joy to return to the studio as The Internet to try and fulfill all of the potential this young band has.
The quintet which originally formed out of the Odd Future collective has grown up on a steady diet of the amazing 2000’s LA scene. The future/progressive beats, rap, soul, jazz of artists like Flying Lotus, Georgia Ann Muldrow, Sa-Ra, Thundercat, etc all have places in The Internet’s influences. N.E.R.D’s classic “In Search Of” is also quite close to the group’s core sound.
No need for me to write 10,000 words about it, any way you look at it this is an incredible album for any soul-funk lover. “Hive Mind” is an anti-skip button LP that gets deeper on each listen. If I gave ratings to albums (which I never have) I would be increasing the grade with each play. It’s a grower!
The future is incredibly bright for The Internet as a collective, as well as all of the members having huge solo potential, especially guitarist/producer Steve Lacy (the youngest of the group at 19). As far as the actual group is concerned, this fourth album in 8 years further cements their place as the best young soul-funk bands in the world.
“Hive Mind” released July 20, 2018 on Columbia Records