Double R — Dr. Digital

Crazy, but good. It’s totally sporadic and unpredictable, which would be a detriment elsewhere, but works here. It’s like swimming in his id: a sunny, jazz-inspired melody here; a swampy, Gothic hook there. These indulgences are overwhelming and exciting, especially in the darkest of moments. It’s your best, worst nightmare.

Double R works as much like a horror auteur as a musician, becoming a true master of tension in crafting this creepy, 17-track affair. He has as much in common with Trent Reznor as Tyler, the Creator; Dr. Digital is the hip-hop equivalent of The Downward Spiral: an album that would feel right at home in a David Fincher flick.

The beats drip like cough syrup in thick and hazy swells. Double R’s razor-sharp, effortlessly smooth delivery cuts through just enough to let something as abrasive as “Skid Mark” or “Watch Me Now” go down easy. Unexpected tracks like the bubbly “Summer Time” and “Walt Whitman” provide brief safe havens before plunging back into the depths of the unconscious.

There are moments when Dr. Digital could use a scalpel, but given Double R’s tender age of 21, it’s remarkable such a challenging construction could make so much sense. I can’t wait to refill my prescription. —Joshua Boydston

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