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  • Rustie's last album, Green Language, was caught between worlds. Big-name vocal collaborations sat uneasily with churchy ambient; shots at the charts with more eccentric moments. He's since said that it was "too A&Red," and in a recent interview he talked about being "pulled in two directions" by the people around him. His next LP, released with minimal press and an iPhone photo for a cover, aims to set things straight. EVENIFYOUDONTBELIEVE returns to the simplest ingredients of Rustie's music. From hyperactive second track "First Mythz" onwards, it's a relentless barrage of sugar-rush anthems pitched somewhere between club trap and stadium trance, each more intense than the last. The melodies are gleeful, one-finger things, the drums compressed and distorted till they shriek, the chipmunked vocal samples whisked into a giddy swirl of emotion. At first it's pretty invigorating. After all, this is just the sort of focus that Green Language lacked. But as the carousel of breakdown, frantic buildup and vertiginous drop keeps turning, it becomes exhausting. Ultimately, Rustie's purism exposes the limitations of his style. In pursuit of ever bigger gestures, he's crushing his music against a ceiling, both in terms of literal dynamics—compression obliterates any subtlety in these tracks—and emotional content. EVENIFYOUDONTBELIEVE demands nothing less than complete euphoria all the time, and that's a lot to ask. A track like "What U Mean" registers as little more than desperate, incoherent energy. The album rallies in its closing minutes. "New Realm" and "Emerald Tabletz" are jazz-fusion concoctions of buttery leads and paradiddling drums. "Open Heartzz" is a lost cue from a Hollywood tearjerker. These tracks are just as overblown as the others, but in different and stranger ways. It’s telling that they call to mind Rustie's first album, Glass Swords. Back then, his "maximalism" meant an overload of the imagination. EVENIFYOUDONTBELIEVE suggests a narrower definition.
  • Tracklist
      01. Coral Elixrr 02. First Mythz 03. Atlantean Airship 04. 4Eva 05. Big Catzz 06. Peace Upzzz 07. Your Goddezz 08. Coral Castlez 09. What U Mean 10. Morning Starr 11. Death Bliss 12. New Realm 13. Emerald Tabletz 14. Open Heartzz 15. 444Sure