“The WIZRD” review: Future is back; but is he better?

Kyle Atkinson

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It’s 2019 and Future makes his return by hitting us with a new album, one of the first major hip hop releases of 2019. This project comes as a follow-up his pair of 2017 albums titled FUTURE and HNDRXX. The WIZRD is also accompanied by a film of the same name that was released on January 11th. The film currently only available on Apple Music.

Before releasing the project, Future released two promotional singles to raise hype. The singles were “Crushed Up” and “Jumpin on a Jet” and both of them were received well.

Future’s 2018 output could be considered slower by his standards. He released only two projects in BEASTMODE 2 and Wrld On Drugs. Both of these got mixed reception from fans and critics. But it’s 2019 now, so let’s see what he has in store for us on his seventh studio album.

First impressions

  • The Good: On my first listen through the album, there are definitely a lot of high quality and catchy tracks. The production is sensational as usual and Future recruited some great beatmakers. The features are utilized well and there aren’t too many of them. I’m liking what I’ve heard so far, let’s see if that holds up.  
  • The Bad: It’s quite a long project. Once you feel like it should be over, it keeps going. That isn’t to say that the songs are bad, there are simply a lot of them. At times it can feel like a chore getting through the full project more than once.  

Lyrics/Flow

  • The Good: On this project, Future brings his typical flows that we’ve seen quite a bit. Needless to say, they still sound as good as ever. One thing I’ve enjoyed about Future’s career progression is that he isn’t afraid to use higher pitched flows on his tracks. We hear that quite a bit on this project and I think it makes the songs more interesting and raises the quality of the tracks.
  • The Bad: In terms of lyrical content, Future doesn’t bring much new in that category on this new album. There are a couple tracks on which we hear him more reflective themes, but for the most part it’s the typical stuff about trapping, drugs, money, clothes, and cars. This isn’t the biggest knock on the project as Future isn’t the most lyrical rapper, but it can get annoying at times hearing the same words in most tracks.  
  • Score: 7/10

Beats

  • The Good: As I mentioned above, the beats on this project are great. We hear Future Hendrix go in over some typical trap production but also a few beats that stand out from the rest. Some of the best beats on this project include “Crushed Up”, “Tricks On Me”, “Temptation”, and “Never Stop”. Producers that contributed to this album include Tay Keith, ATL Jacob, Southside, Wheezy, and Ricky Racks.  
  • The Bad: Hearing Future over typical trap production can only sound interesting for so long. While the beats on this project are high quality, a lot of them sound pretty similar. For the most part, this project’s beats are comparable to 2017’s FUTURE album and that isn’t necessarily a good thing considering the repetitive nature of that project.   
  • Score: 6.5/10

Replayability

  • The Good: If you are a fan of Future, you’ll be able to shuffle through this album quite a bit and hear many different tracks each time since the project is so large at 20 songs. It is honestly good enough to give a second listen through. There isn’t an easily identifiable theme, so no need to worry about finding a deeper meaning behind this album.  
  • The Bad: If you’re looking for a cohesive and narrative driven album, this isn’t it. It feels simply like a collection of songs much like some of Future’s other albums. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, it just doesn’t have much of a deeper meaning behind it like some fans would have hoped. If you aren’t the biggest fan of Future, I wouldn’t recommend listening to the entirety of this album more than a couple times simple because of the length.
  • Score: 6/10

Standouts

Final thoughts

When Future first announced this project, I was really hyped for it. It had been quite a bit of time since we last received a proper studio album from Future, with 2017’s HNDRXX being the previous. That album was great, so I expected Future to follow it up quite well after a somewhat lackluster 2018 output.

I wasn’t necessarily disappointed by this project, but it could have been better in my opinion. There are some great tracks for sure, but way too many fillers that didn’t need to be included. The inclusion of 20 tracks may be another outcome of the streaming era that sees artists wanting maximizing their streams/sales.

This is by no means a bad project and Future fans will certainly love it. But from a critical standpoint, I’m not too sure where Future goes from here. It seems that he’s done most of the things he set out to do in the hip hop game, and the quality of the music validates that point. One thing I know for sure is that Future will continue to drop bloated albums that his fans will eat up, only to receive more mid reviews from critics.   

Final Score: 6.7/10