JUICEWRLD - FIGHTING DEMONS (2LP) VINYL

JUICEWRLD - FIGHTING DEMONS (2LP) VINYL

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JUICE WRLD
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The first posthumous material released after rap superstar Juice WRLD's 2019 death was 2020's aptly titled Legends Never Die, a moving collection of unreleased songs highlighting his talents for introspective songwriting and the ability to fully inhabit whatever style he chose. It was as strong a showing, if not stronger, than any of the albums Juice WRLD released while still alive, and was made all the more powerful by the context of his recent death. Fighting Demons is another volume of previously unshared material, assembled by Juice WRLD's estate and filled out with newly recorded features and interludes. While Fighting Demons doesn't feel as cohesive or finely tuned as Legends Never Die, it works well as a collection of tracks to cull favorites from. Juice's anguished, emotionally vulnerable side comes through on the lonely melodies of emo-rap track "Doom," and the cutting "Already Dead" is one of his best, and clearest, depictions of the pain and desperation of addiction. There are slices of radio-ready pop to balance out the more depressing moments, with clear-eyed hooks, tight vocal harmonies, and guest spots from Justin Bieber and BTS' Suga on tracks like "Wandered to LA" and "Girl of My Dreams." There are several by-the-numbers trap-pop songs that feel like filler even for a posthumous release, and some space is filled by interview clips, including audio of Eminem discussing his experiences with addiction. Themes of struggling to overcome depression and drug dependency surface often on Fighting Demons, making it a heavier collection than the sometimes celebratory memoriam of Legends Never Die. It's not an essential piece of the Juice WRLD story, but it's also not without some solid reminders of his greatness.

Fred Thomas