“It’s October, and I’m tired.”
Anime, Trauma & Divorce is Los Angeles artist Open Mike Eagle’s most personal project to date. The album details what Open Mike Eagle referred to as the worst year of his life. The album tackles a range of Mike’s struggles in life such as divorcing his wife, and the discomfort and trauma he experienced while trying to deal with these upheavals in his life.
Anime, Trauma & Divorce is not on par with Open Mike Eagle’s best albums Dark Comedy (2014) and Brick Body Kids Still Daydream (2017), but it’s an interesting album nonetheless. Enjoyability will largely depend on relatability, especially people who find themselves in similar states of being will feel this one, on others it may have less impact. Seeing as 2020 has been a rough year for humanity as a whole, Anime, Trauma & Divorce feels like an album for today, even if personal experiences of individual listeners may not correlate exactly with Open Mike Eagle’s struggles. One of Open Mike Eagle’s strengths has always been being introspective while simultaneously keeping the vibe light-hearted in a way – Anime, Trauma & Divorce is a typical Open Mike Eagle album in that regard, even if his usual sense of humor does not coat up the sadness of some of these lyrics so easily.
At 34 minutes the album is on the short side, somehow it feels like the dense subject matter warranted further exploration. Also, a couple of weaker songs (like “Headass” and “Fifteen Twenty Feet Ocean Nah”) bring down the album some, on a 34-minute record no duds are allowed. Lots of strong songs though to offset the weak spots – “Bucciarati”, “Asa’s Bop”, “The Edge Of New Clothes”, “The Black Mirror Episode”, “WTF Is Self Care” – all great.
Long-time Open Mike Eagle fans will no doubt love this project, but Anime, Trauma & Divorce will most likely not gain him many new followers – people new to Open Mike Eagle should probably start with Dark Comedy. Even if it is not his best, Anime, Trauma & Divorce is an entertaining record and a solid addition to Open Mike Eagle’s body of work. 75/100
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Also read: The Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2020