23 Sep 2023

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day13n - Album Review: /7/13/7/

06 Aug 2023 // A review by Peter-James Dries

I’m too old for this world.

We’ve devolved to the point where music is only as good as the soundtrack to your 10 second TikTok, and the thirty thousand copies recycling the idea. In this ever-on, fractured, and chaotic world, the real reviews are the views, or are reduced to single sentence comments in an unintelligible language, complete with cancerous emojis. A sea of faceless thumbs.

Who needs reviewers like me anymore? What even is the point in writing this when no one reads full sentences anymore? What can I tell you about /7/13/7/ that day13n hasn’t already told you? Or am I doing this for him? To validate his efforts?

He knows what he has made, he doesn’t need me to tell him. It’s his soul spat out on paper. Thoughts, dreams, teeth. The contents of his own mind. He has recorded his life. His story. His inner monologue. He's doing his own thing. He doesn't need my opinion.

Because everyone has an opinion. In this pit of despair, everyone is screaming into the abyss for any kind of attention. We’re all clawing and writhing in a vain attempt to escape the mass of flesh congregating at the bottom. Everyone wanting their voice, their opinions, their story to be heard. Everyone wanting to be validated. Like. Subscribe. Click the bell. My voice adds nothing to this cacophonic choir.

Back in the dark ages, before I was irrelevant, back when reviews mattered, it was already difficult to review an autobiographical concept album. Like any vanity project, the value can only truly be assessed by the creator. Reviewers can only assign value based on their experience of similar products. I have no frame of reference for this.

I don’t know day13n as a person. I only know what he has sold me. I can’t tell you if the spoken word he's spitting through grinding teeth is an aural manifestation of his soul. I can’t assess his soul; I’m not qualified. I can’t even tell you what genre the backing beats are. I haven’t heard music like this before. I haven’t heard enough Childish Gambino, or Saul Williams to know if they’re valid comparisons.

I can’t relate. My heart beats slower, darker, heavier. My depression and anxiety have been with me so long they’re character traits, not something to be feared, labeled, or treated. My childhood can’t be compared to the hardships Northern America can offer.

I wasn’t designed for a world where delinquent punks in emo makeup hunch over a laptop, slapping it until it makes noises. In my day, we picked up a guitar. Using the tools of our parents to make noise to offend them was our rebellion. Taking something familiar then subverting it.

But like Satanism relying on the church to justify its existence, when we took our parents instruments and made music as ugly as the world around us, we were still tied to them, and relied on the rules they invented for our existence.

In this futuristic dystopia, the kids use a device the boomers can never understand to make sounds they can never comprehend. They are truly free. They don’t need old people like us to tell them what we think of their music.

In our day it was a rebellion against the world around us, not the world inside us. We hated the world, not ourselves. We wanted to destroy the old world so much, that we inadvertently created a world that destroyed us. /7/13/7/ comes from a world we left behind, not one we’ve lived in, not one we can understand. It’s not day13n’s fault. This music isn’t for us. It’s not designed for me.

/7/13/7/ is not for me as a person, and that’s okay. Fandom is meaningless if you’re a fan of everything. There will be people out there that this really resonates with, people younger than me, but perhaps no one more so than day13n. It’s a personal work, as autobiographies always are. In a decade when he is further down his road to recovery, it will be a road marker to look back on and see how far he has come.

This isn’t a negative review. It needs no rebuttal. /7/13/7/ has a unique sound, and day13n has a unique image. Even I can see day13n is an artist, and this is a piece of art. There is nothing out there that sounds like this. Whether that helps or hinders the popularity of /7/13/7/ is yet to be seen, but popularity shouldn’t matter anyway. When you put your soul on Spotify, you’re asking for people to like you, as much as you’re asking them to like your music. You don’t need those other people to validate you. You don't need me. Everyone has an opinion. Yours is the only one that means anything.

You can find /7/13/7/ on Spotify. If you’re in the demographic that knows how to use it, then this is probably a release for you.


About day13n

Toronto-born, and currently based in Auckland, day13n grew up sandwiched between the wealthy east end neighbourhood 'The Beaches' and a TCHC subsidised housing community. The oldest of four, day13n spent his childhood raising his three younger sisters, while his parents struggled with unemployment, substance abuse, and his immigrant mother attempted to manage while his father was in prison, and absent.

By the age of 14, day13n had developed serious substance use issues, and was struggling with mental illness, which resulted in violent altercations with his father, and inevitably day13n being kicked out of his family home, and living on his own by the age of 16, dropping out of school, and entering the workforce.

For the next ten years, day13n worked to pull himself out of that pit, with therapy, self reflection, and medication. At his darkest points, he found solace in punk, and angry hip-hop music, but it was messages of hope, and belief in a brighter future embedded in the lyrics of artists like Eminem and Greenday that left a lasting impact.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for day13n


Year: 2023
Type: Album

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