By Owen Heh
Logic’s newest album “YSIV,” an abbreviation of “Young Sinatra IV,” aims to strike nostalgic chords for fans of the the boom-bap style and lyrical bars that defined Logic’s early Young Sinatra mixtapes. In fact, in the song “Thank You” Thomas (a character from the future introduced in Logic’s 2015 album “The Incredible True Story”) reveals that “YSIV” is the final installment of the Young Sinatra series.
The album wastes no time bringing fans back the old Logic sound. The first track, “Thank You,” is a tribute to Logic’s 2012 song “World Wide.” The song follows a nearly identical structure starting with some celebratory bars followed by real voicemails from Logic fans around the world. While the song appeals to die-hard Logic fans, casual listeners may have trouble accessing the song. This problem eventually becomes a pattern for the album.
Logic follows up “Thank You” with the songs “Everybody Dies,” “The Return,” and “The Glorious Five.” Similar to “Thank You,” these songs are reminiscent of Logic’s early style, however their modern instrumentals, solid construction and digestible lyrics allow them to reach a broader audience. Unfortunately “YSIV” has its share of forgettable songs as well. Whether it’s the overly bright and pop-inspired chorus from Ryan Tedder on “One Day,” Logic’s underwhelming singing performance on “Ordinary Day,” or the weak verses from the Wu Tang Clan members on “Wu Tang Forever,” these songs disrupt the album’s thematic and sonic cohesion.
As far as the last leg of the album goes, most of the songs do a good job of maintaining the early 2010s Logic sound. The title track is by no measure better than any of the earlier songs in the “Young Sinatra” series but it does showcase Logic’s lyricism and fans will enjoy the recognizable Milkbone sample. “ICONIC” deserves credit as a heavy hitting remix of Jaden Smith’s “Icon” and “Legacy” is a beautiful slow song wherein Logic discusses the dangers of prioritizing one’s legacy over family.
The final installment of Logic’s “Young Sinatra” series is too inconsistent to interest casual listeners, but “YSIV” has enough bright spots to hold over longtime fans as they await his next project, “Ultra 85.”