Australian hip-hop artist – Samson Andah – better known as Miracle has just released his incredibly mediocre debut album Mainland.
The Ghana-born rapper had potential; inspired especially by none other than Kanye West, Miracle cut his teeth in the Australian rap scene after releasing a series of mix tapes under independent recording artist Israel Cruz. These garnered enough respect to see Miracle performing as the support act for a number of big kids in the hip hop playground during their Australian tours, including Childish Gambino and Snoop Dogg and earned him a record contract with recording giant Sony – a feat for someone his age.
While I’m not an expert on the quality of rap music, Mainland is an album dominated by lyrics that call for a sense of monumentality that is generally lost amidst a relentless downpour of whiney synth hooks and walking paced drum patterns that sound like samples found on garage band. In summary; the album is like unconsciously biting into a cheeseburger, only to find that there’s not any cheese in your burger.
With a title inspired by Peter Pan, Mainland is predominately concerned the blissfulness of youth, dampened only by the gloomy inevitability of having to grow up, peppered with Miracle’s personal qualms over growing up as apart of an ethnic minority.
The album opens with Lost Boys; introduced by a brooding piano introduction that hints at the albums potential to be slightly more emotionally engaging. This potential is soaked up by the songs irritating synth harmony, repeated throughout the song – often the case in a number of tracks on the album.
This is especially the case with more uplifting odes to the blissfulness of youth on the album such as Endless Summer and Never Gets Old. Both tracks endeavor to capture the extraordinariness of being young however their catchy little synth motifs produce only a half-hearted manufactured sense of happiness – as though you’re looking back over someone’s adolescents through a series of blurry polaroid pictures.
Songs like Django and Nintendo emulate the personal side to Miracle’s new album, essentially untarnished by any annoying synthesized moans in the background. The deeper drum and bass background music supporting both songs compliment the darker lyrical content. Both tracks see Miracle flaunt his skill as a rapper with fast paced word marathons reminiscent of his former mixtapes that would make the likes of Kanye West and Childish Gambino proud.
The album is undoubtedly better suited for summer- it’s easier to appreciate being young and carefree when hypothermia isn’t a serious health concern because it’s twelve degrees below freezing like it currently is in Australia. The fact that I now have the tune of Endless Summer permanently stuck in my head is a testimony to the albums value as an essential addition to any beach party playlist.