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Photo provided by livemixtapes -- The cover art of Future and DJ Esco's latest mixtape

Future/DJ Esco 


To release five projects in one year is an accomplishment for any artist. However, Atlanta-based rapper Future has a consistency problem with his constant stream of mixtapes and albums.

This is especially true on his latest and fifth release of the year, “Project E.T. Esco Terrestrial.”

Fans of Future easily will say the mixtape is the property of DJ Esco, Future’s go-to man. But it’s just as much Future’s project — he delivers at least one verse on all but four of the 16 songs. The duo has a formula that has resulted in success before, and this mixtape is much of the same.

There are the auto-tune melodies, heavy bass and cracking hat claps that have been heard before. Lyrically, Future continues to sneak in jabs at those who recently have tried to sue him. Other topics include how much money he has and how much he parties.

However, the features on “E.T.” keep the project from being stale. Future, Drake and 2 Chainz come together on “100it Racks,” where Drake experiments with a lazy rap flow. On “Party Pack,” Future and the Mississippi duo Rae Sremmurd link up for a summer club anthem laced with drug references and reverb-filled piano keys.

At its best, though, “E.T.” is repetitive. The production is mediocre. A handful of the beats feel like throwaways from Future’s better projects. While the work ethic is commendable, five projects in 11 months isn’t something many fans are asking for.

Future shows no signs of slowing down in his onslaught of music releases. To refrain from watering down the rest of his career, though, maybe he should.

— Josh Jackson

Special to The Advocate

Neil Young and Promise of the Real


Longtime environmentalist Neil Young takes a hybrid approach on “Earth,” a double-disc compilation of live tracks loosely related to sharing our planet with the animal kingdom.

The sounds of honking geese, croaking frogs and buzzing bees come and go over the 13 songs taken from Young’s 2015 tour with the band Promise of the Real. Young doesn’t try to hide the studio manipulation, which also includes some overdubbing and — gasp! — auto-tuning, warning on the cover that “Earth” contains “modified content.”

As goofy as all the animal noises may sound, the end result is an oddly hypnotic ode to Mother Earth, a trek back to the garden if you will, for an artist who has spent much of his career singing out against environmental degradation.

The undisputable highlight and centerpiece of “Earth” is a mesmerizing 28-minute feedback and distortion-laden version of the rocker “Love and Only Love” from 1990’s “Ragged Glory.”

There’s only one sound that should come from critics after listening to that record-closing scorcher — chirping crickets.

— Scott Bauer

The Associated Press