MellowHype Numbers

It would be completely absurd to suggest that this is a comeback album for MellowHype, but in some ways, it feels like it is. In the brief period since they stormed the scene as key members of the Odd Future collective, their debut album was re-released, they switched labels, the duo's frontman did a solo project and with this album, Numbers, their music is heading in a different direction. Producer Left Brain still serves up weird, synth-based instrumentals that feature his signature made-from-scratch style, while rapper Hodgy Beats dependably lays his flexible flows overtop. Now, however, there's an element of mature composure that brings a wider accessibility to MellowHype. The ambient soundscapes built for "Breakfast," "666" and "Under 2," which thrive on vibe rather than energy, show a newly developed side of the duo that contrasts the rowdiness of "Untitled L" and "NFWGJDSH," which they've previously shown a penchant for. The duo work because they're a talented pairing of producer and rapper that have a clear understanding of what the other does, as Left Brain raps on select tracks and Hodgy grabs a couple of co-producer credits. Their evolving talents introduce fresh dynamics to their songs, suggesting that they'll be able to do a lot more should they choose to stick together. Hopefully they do, as Numbers proves that MellowHype are capable of making a good album without employing the over-the-top antics or shock themes they initially used to capture attention. (Odd Future)