-One of Odd Future’s lesser-known members puts out his most ambitious project, but it doesn’t always deliver.

Despite being one of the least recognized members of Odd Future, I’ve always liked Domo Genesis. That doesn’t come as a surprise due to my absurd love for the group, but as an MC Domo is probably the best in the collective outside of Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt. However, his talent as a rapper hasn’t always translated into fantastic music. His debut album, “Rolling Papers,” shares that rough around the edges early Odd Future charm with releases like “EARL,” “Bastard,” and “Radical,” and consequently is my favorite release of his, but since then as Odd Future has blown up, he’s only released a handful of pretty decent mixtapes that showed no ambition. So I had to wonder over the years whether or not Domo was going to have an interesting musical future. But here to prove me wrong is “Genesis,” Domo’s most ambitious project yet, and his best since “Rolling Papers.” However, it’s still not the great album I know he can make.

The biggest change here comes with the mood. As the album cover hints at, this is a much more sensitive, gentle, and reflective release than anything Domo has ever put out. The beats are jazzy and feature warm, sustained electric pianos, light drums, and nimble bass lines, and to compliment the softer beats, Domo turns down his signature Mr. Smoke A Lotta Pot persona. Known always as a weed rapper, Domo still mentions it from time to time here but overall is much more varied in his topics, from his family struggles on “One Below,” to self doubt on “Questions.”

However, this sensitivity is still a work in progress, as the clear cut best songs here are the bouncier, livelier, and more brash tracks, like the Tyler produced and Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J featuring “Go (Gas).” With one of Tyler’s darkest post-“Goblin” beats made out strung out guitar and rattling tambourines, it’s a kind of unsettling, but overtly fun, image of a party, with Domo, Wiz, and Juicy J just furthering the blunted out narrative. The following track, “Coming Back,” is another more direct song, with a really bouncy beat and a great hook from Mac Miller. But the best song here, and one of the best songs of the year, is “Dapper,” with Anderson .Paak. Featuring bright electric piano and grooving, dusty drums, Domo’s low key attitude, and Anderson’s incredibly infectious confidence, this song is just absurdly fun and danceable.

But like I said above, not every moment is this fun or even memorable. The soft beats eventually just form into a mush of Pretty Good Sounds, that sound nice, but aren’t anything I’d really want to come back to. The hooks aren’t particularly memorable outside of the aforementioned tracks and “My Own,” and Domo, while charismatic and strong flow wise and lyrically, isn’t a song-saving MC. That being said, nothing here is bad, just boring, but there are some fantastic tracks that really elevate this album.

3 stars

Standout Tracks: “Go (Gas)” “Coming Back” “Dapper”

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