|Album Review: Bury Me With Dead Roses by Phora|
Bury Me With Dead Roses
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Bury me With Dead Roses is the latest album from California rapper Phora. Phora has been professionally releasing music since 2012. He landed a deal with Warner Bro in 2017. Since then he left Warner Bros and recently signed to Roc Nation management. Bury me with Dead Roses is the first independent release since the split.
The album is heavily themed transformation album. He does a great job of keeping the concept throughout the project. Phora said himself "The first half of the album is about motivation, love, life, and happiness while the second half is about pain, hurt, struggle, and loss. I feel like I'm always trapped between being happy or depressed, there's never any middle ground - so I choose to embrace that for this album."
This is absolutely accurate, there is no in-between on this album. He is either in love, "On my way" to his "Love Drug" or angerly depressed on "Forgive me" to severely sadden on "How it Feels to Feel Nothing." The production is low-key, soft and never really varies but it's quality, providing head nods.
The first half is nice. "On My Way" is the most radio-friendly song on the album. The video showcases Phora riding to get his love in his convertible driving down a lonely road and reminiscing about spending time with her. "Love Drug" is a similar song with more addicting tendencies. The rest of the first half is more or less the same. "Love Yourself" differs because he discusses self-love as opposed to love for a significant other
The only sonically diverse song includes the only features on the album, Ecko & Mariah, on "Te Necesito." The song is about absolutely needing a significant other. the subject matter deals with being love but needing that person in order to not be depressed. This premise is carried through songs like the piano aided "Alive." and lighter "Just you" where he expresses that he wants to needed by his significant other as well. These songs are used to transition the album to the darker second half. Bury me With Dead Roses this isn't a very versatile album.
On the other hand, the technical aspect of Phora's flow, emotion-filled voice, and relatable lyrics are superb. Being in love and being depressed have to be the common of human emotions on the planet. Phora is able to channel those emotions, rapping heart first while at making beautifully crafted music. The tracklist was ordered perfectly as we go on a journey with Phora. Bury me With Dead Roses goes from being deeply in love turned into being emotionally depended on that significant other to the depressing break-up and eventually focusing defunct feelings inside of himself.
The second half tells a story within its self. On "Forgive Me" Phora recognizes his demons and expresses feeling trapped because of them. The video visually represents that idea flawlessly as Phora stands in a closed-off space while faces and hand protrude out of the background. This is the best emotion-driven vocal performance of the album with a creative music video
Phora deals with the recent break-up causing teetering alcoholism in "Never Know." The Antisocial tendencies, drug abuse, and suicidal thoughts get the best of him in "Lost." On songs "Back to You" and "Where Did We Go Wrong" He keeps the idea of wanting his ex back. These songs focus more on the good times and why he wants to bring back old times. Phora focuses on his own flaws on "How it Feels to Feel Nothing."
"The Dream" is a posthumous look at the public perception of his death. A near-death experience will make one wonder, such a being a shooting victim in 2015. The narrative is phenomenal and is based on the perception of the Death of Nipsey Hussle.
Bury me With Dead Roses is a densely themed album but it is greatly put together. The album could have been shorter due to shared song topics and production monotony. However, the overall vibe of the project is very relatable. The sound is remising of the slow jam sensitivity of a Drake album; at the same time, it is clammer less destructive version of the ? album by Xxxtentacion. Phora is creative in his own right by capturing his personal emotions, making great music from them while allowing his audience to relate.