Last month, Maryland-born/Florida-bred artist Alex Burnett released a 13-track project titled Interpratate, an album that’s so dense that it requires several listens to truly understand the layers within it. The project sees Alex center-stage with minimal features and a variety of sounds that allow him to give the listeners as many different versions of his artistry as possible.
Upon our initial listen, the first thing made clear is that Alex is an absolute lyrical technician — the way he formulates strings of words is almost like Einstein’s theory of relativity (dead serious). There are several moments on this project where he somehow maintains a dizzying rhyme structure for entire verses and (virtually) complete songs. We’re not completely sure who his influences are, but the bars we hear seem to call upon the likes of Tech N9ne (particularly his early years), Cory Gunz (before he stagnated) and even Kendrick Lamar…trying to decipher line after line is like a game of chess for your ears (if that makes any sense).
Alex’s subject matter on Interpretate seems to be for the most part a reflection of within over what’s around him; we hear songs about the battles occurring with his soul (‘Deterrence’) and wishes for Christ consciousness (‘Healing’). On other tracks, he also lets it be known that he’s a fierce competitor when it comes to the microphone (‘These Emcees’).
The production on Interpretate is, to us, at its best when it dwells in nostalgia and pulls in hints of Jazz-Soul (‘Aspiration’, ‘Budding Flower’) — it’s in this realm where Alex sounds the most comfortable. While songs like ‘Contamination’, ‘Lies’ and ‘Influence’ show that he’s able to hold is own over more Trap-influenced/Synth-heavy production, it occasionally sounds a bit shaky — as if he’s overworking on said tracks to keep his flow methodical. Approaching the end of Interpratate sees the two “sounds” merge successfully, which is where we also hear Alex experimenting more with melody and speaking on love and women (or one specific woman?) — an effective continuation of his versatility.
Overall, Interpretate functions as a strong offering from what is certain to be Alex Burnett’s impressive (and progressive) catalog of music. This impressive body of work is (probably) most attractive to the proverbial backpacker (read: fans who prefer dope and conscious lyrics over anything else), but also shows sparks of genre-bending creativity that could continue to broaden his horizons as an artist.