Eeee, okay, I see what you’re going for Scott Free: apocalyptic societal/quasi political banter, a message through music. Rage Against The Machine caught on big in the 90s pushing their political stance through a spectacularly inventive fusion of rock, rap, metal, and funk. Go back a decade and Devo had very similar success with a more anarchistic, tongue-in-cheek delivery of their infectious blend of new wave, punk, and rock. Well on Scott Free’s The Last Revolution (released July 3rd, 2020) you most definitely get the message; he’s just gotta work on the music.
What we get is a collection of ten insanely anti-government, almost-nihilistic, defeatist jams that sound like ‘demos’ off of those old Casio keyboards. Y’know, the stuff that you could run as backing while you played the keys, very on par with the Mickey Avalon style of sing-song rap. Rage and Devo shed new light on genres, created masterpiece tracks, all while making us question the very society we live in. The first track, “The Beginning of the End (Climate Change)” is repetitive, which can work if the song is catchy enough but this one doesn’t stick. The drums are sparse, the keyboards are monotone, the samples of thunder and rain seem like an afterthought and don’t do anything for the song, and the lyrics themselves (always the core of any rap album) are uninspiring. On “The Global Power Elite,” Scott Free serves more raps that don’t seem to flow organically; like a speak-and-spell or Siri-style app, it’s way too robotic and as a result is extremely hard to connect with. Vocals are the most important tool when putting together a solid rap album and I think Scott Free just needs to take it back to basics and start laying a new foundation.
Alright, I’m not going to spend my whole review taking a giant shit on this album. I will say that venturing out and trying to make a change through music is extremely brave and I absolutely commend Free for raising his voice on issues he feels strongly about. Maybe if the music doesn’t work out, he has a career in politics… though he does seem kinda extreme. In “The Bombs Are Dropped,” Free enlightens us to how the government is withholding information regarding the deathcounts and the bombings they commit (maybe if the album came with sources?). I can’t tell if it’s tongue in cheek, but the only thing that really bombs is this song. Quick step back, this can sometimes be my struggle as an avid music listener/reviewer, I’ll often find this level of self-depreciating, humouristic appreciation for songs and the more I listened to The Last Revolution the more it reared its ugly head.
You know what I’ll suggest? Listen to the first track “The Beginning of the End (Climate Change)” and if you cringe and nothing else, then move. This album is a mood through and through, and does not deviate much. If you cringe, laugh, facepalm, question your existence, then keep listening and like me you’ll find some sick pleasure in this album. Keep doing your thing Scott Free, you crazy dude. I can’t decide if my life is better or worse for spending time with The Last Revolution, but it most certainly will never be the same again.
Written by Lee Ferguson
*edited by Danielle Kenedy