- Russell Whyte's debut album Glass Swords was all about maximalism—big melodies, high production values and sprawling, prog rock-inspired compositions. But then came "Slasherr," which compressed that symphonic scale into a few well-timed drops. It took a page out of the mainstream EDM playbook, and it rocks dance floors of all kinds even two years after its release. That's more or less how the Glaswegian operates on Green Language. All that chest-beating guitar excess is squished into explosive blasts of powerful pop and rap, held together by cinematic interludes. Compared to its predecessor, Green Language is a compact record, but it still finds a way to show every side of Whyte—some EDM pyrotechnics here, a bit of hip-hop there and some hints at the old days for good measure.
If Green Language has one thing in common with Glass Swords, it's the qualities it shares with '70s rock albums. A good portion of these tunes wouldn't make sense outside the LP—the way they slot together is what makes them effective. It takes two whole songs before we get a kick drum, which lands with "Raptor"—maybe Rustie's most divisive single yet. Throwing his hip-hop allegiances to the wind, "Raptor" centres on a hardstyle kick drum that hits in a frenzy of imploding synths and earth-shaking rattles, outdone only by a ludicrously massive second drop. As a single it's obnoxious, but in the context of the LP it's a welcome release from the stage-setting of "Workship" and "A Glimpse."
These little interludes shouldn't be overlooked as mere distractions, because they, too, are jammed with details. "A Glimpse" ends with a sudden strike of chorus pedal-enhanced '80s guitar strumming, while the shimmering "Paradise Stone" provides a breather after "Raptor." "Tempest" brings Green Language's fire down to a momentary simmer. In between, Rustie capitalizes on his pop potential, which lands all over the spectrum: retro wonky styles on the scratchy "Velcro," unhinged barking from Danny Brown on "Attak," chilly cloud rap from rising duo Gorgeous Children on "He Hate Me," billowing pop fluff on "Dream On."
This combination of so many styles offers a more comprehensive portrait of Rustie than Glass Swords did. It reflects an artist who drops EDM anthems and produces tracks for rappers while also making flamboyant, air guitar-worthy jams. Rustie's music has long made a case for how cheese and quality can coexist—look no further than "Raptor" to see how. Nothing on Green Language lives up to that track, but then an album full of that sound would have been exhausting. Instead, Whyte has made an LP that rises and falls gracefully, proving that even his brand of everything-all-the-time dance music has room for nuance and subtlety.
02. A Glimpse
04. Paradise Stone
05. Up Down feat. D Double E
06. Attak feat. Danny Brown
08. He Hate Me feat. Gorgeous Children
10. Lost feat. Redinho
11. Dream On
12. Lets Spiral
13. Green Language