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Missio: I AM CINCO

After Prince’s untimely passing, the artist’s estate archivist drilled open his underground bank vault to reveal enough unreleased music to make an album a year for nearly the next millennium. Prince said in an interview in 2014, “I don't go back in time and listen to it. I worked on it and brought it as far as I could right then.” So why didn’t he release them? It is possible that he felt that they weren’t worthy of release or that, though he was proud of them, they had to be cut for creative purposes? The latter is a process known as “killing your darlings” that every writer should undergo to improve the quality of their work. In listening to I AM CINCO by MISSIO, it seems that this process was unfortunately ignored.

I say “unfortunately” because there are some really great qualities to many of the tracks. “What Can You Say?” feels like a song that could be used in a montage for “Grey’s Anatomy” or “Vampire Diaries,” and I mean that as a compliment. It is a simple song with just enough melodrama and intriguing background synths to captivate the listener. “Easy” has fun percussion and vocoder background vocals, which create the feel of walking on Venice Beach stoned to the gills. “Goodbye to the Old Me” has a compelling chord progression and melody.

However, additional tracks dilute the long hour and 25-minute album. “RingTing” is an odd attempt that, through its use of what sounds like a toy piano, makes me feel like I’m bumping the bass in a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe. “Thang Thang” is a track from an alternate universe in which Gym Class Heroes made “Turn Down For What?” “Papi Chulo” has lyrics that proudly declare “Just bought a pair of kicks, I’m feeling like the shit.”

There is consistently strong production throughout as well as many fun refreshing tracks sprinkled within. Even so, though they sound like they had a fun time putting the tracks together, some songs needed to be sacrificed. Because they weren’t, the quality of the record suffers.

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