Nearly six months since the passing of Xxxtentacion, his team compiled this 10-track posthumous album. After a few listens I have a lot of mixed feelings towards Skins. Giving off similar vibes to his last album ?, Skins showed plenty of potential. The unfortunate problem here is that the most important person was missing to complete the album. Without the precense of X, this album is average at best.
The first half of the project is very nostalgic for X fans as his production team tries their best to replicate the sounds of his previous album. They even sampled his hit single “Jocelyn Flores” on the song “Guardian Angel”. Aside from the production itself, most of these earlier songs were clearly incomplete. “woa (mind in awe)” was heavily focused on the vocal strings and the soothing instrumentals. This pattern is also recycled in other songs like “BAD!”, “what are you so afraid of”, and “difference (interlude). The actual songs themselves aren’t that bad, but the content and direction are managed pretty poorly. I strongly feel like this was not the artistic direction that X would’ve went had he been present in the studio.
Another surprising moment was on songs like “One Minute” and “STARING AT THE SKY” where they bought that rap/rock sound back. Even the legendary Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker made an appearance with Kanye West on “One Minute”. Although X did not have a large role in either song, it was pretty cool to see that sound come back into play.
Between the soft instrumentals, heavy rock orchestra, and the acoustic ballads, most of this album was based on production. Most of the songs were under two minutes and did not provide much lyrical content. Skins had great potential but it was virtually impossible to deliver a promising project without the star of the show. But in a music industry full of greedy executives and money hungry-labels, the only thing that mattered was using X’s name to boost their streams. All in all, I did enjoy listening to most of the songs because they weren’t bad but they did not provide the same feeling you get when you hear his other music. I feel weird reviewing this album because I know that this truly was not his work. But what’s done is done and as we hear possibly the last project from X, all we can do is reminisce.
Sleepers: woa (mind in awe)