Released on Nov. 3, “Blanket,” Kevin’s Abstract’s third solo studio album, produced by BROCKHAMPTON’s beloved DJ and producer Romil Hemnani, showcases the artist’s versatility and boldness. The most notable characteristics of “Blanket” are its extensive use of guitar instrumentals and hazy vocals, rightfully earning its spot in a very solid Abstract discography.
Reddit user Schlongdock writes, “It’s like he [Kevin Abstract] heard Alex G’s song ‘Blessing’ and decided to make an entire album from it.” Abstract’s vocals throughout “Blanket” have a strong Alex G vibe to them, with the accompanying drums and guitar further strengthening this comparison.
The album opens with “When The Rope Post 2 Break,” a track with splendid lyricism. Abstract sings, “You reach out your hand / Why would I climb / if the rope’s supposed to break?” Abstract seems to be detailing a toxic relationship that is nearing its end with an internal battle: do I stay or leave? The next track, also the title track, “Blanket,” contains the lyrics, “Memory, memory / There’s new yous and new mes.” As Abstract continues to sort through his own feelings toward the relationship, he comes to realize that if he chooses to leave, he’ll find someone new and ending this relationship doesn’t mean love will cease to exist. Abstract does end up leaving the relationship; he sings on the next song “Running Out,” “I go, I won’t take no time for no one / Let go, this version of me.” Abstract chooses to put this toxicity behind him and redefine himself.
The fourth track, titled “The Greys,” includes background vocals from the beloved Roy Blair who worked on various BROCKHAMPTON projects. Abstract sings, “I listened to the silence when he left / What I thought we was / Boy, I was so misled.” He begins to realize the facade that his ex-partner put on, at first seeming gentle and genuine, but near the end aggressive and dishonest. The following song, “Voyager,” is what Abstract calls “the ballad on the album.” With lyrics such as, “Ultraviolet / I cannot fight it,” it appears Abstract is struggling to forget the joyful memories he made during his past relationship, oftentimes the most difficult part of healing from heartbreak. The happy memories need to stay because you can’t deny that joy was once there; but the deception, ah, that mustn’t be forgotten either.
Next comes “Madonna,” a song all about reclaiming one’s own power following a breakup. Abstract sings, “She better off in the club / dancin’ how she wanna / Do her thing, what she feel / smokin’ marijuana.” A commenter on Genius wrote, “i love the way his voice gets progressively more passionate in the chorus, it scratches my brain in the most beautiful way possible.” The following song, “Today I Gave Up,” features some of Abstract’s most emotional vocals on the album. He said in an Apple Music interview that, “I was extremely sad when I made this. Need I say more?” This sense of cathartic release continues into the next track, “What Should I Do?” in which Abstract sings, “You can’t touch me in my dreams, can’t call me your fantasy.” Once you get out of and move past a toxic relationship, you realize how much more peaceful and beautiful life can be.
The album’s ninth song “Mr. Edwards” marks a drastic turning point. Despite it being an instrumental, the harsh and rugged guitar instrumentals mark their territory on this album. The following track “Scream” slows it all back down. Abstract sings, “Got my whole heart / Nothing at all, nothing on you, you, you / First time / First time / My first time.” Similar to “Voyager,” “Scream” serves as a sort of recollection of happy memories from the relationship Abstract was once in. The heartbreak that follows your first love seems to be the worst, but once you lose those feelings completely, you realize just how much you idealized your ex-partner in the first place. “Real 2 Me” comes next, a track that details a relationship filled with love bombing, and the proceeding crash of the relationship. Abstract first sings, “When you signed my cast / I wish I broke my arms,” and finishes the song with, “It took me to another place / Wash it all down the drain / We could live forever / Do you wanna live forever?”.
The album’s second-to-last song titled “Heights, Spiders, and the Dark” discusses the merging of two souls when in a relationship. He sings, “My friend and my muse / You make me so confused / The things that I would do / To keep all of you.” Having to figure out who you are after a codependent relationship ends is hard. In regards to this track, Kevin Abstract said, “I really did all I could to keep all of who this song is about, and it didn’t work. He left me.” “Blanket” concludes with the beautiful song “My Friend,” undoubtedly a fan favorite off the album. Abstract worked with MJ Lenderman and Kara Jackson on this track, an unexpected but jaw-dropping collaboration. This track is all about the abounding love of friendship, and how platonic friendships can be, and often are, more fulfilling than romantic relationships. Abstract sings, “The way I think about you, my friend / No, you’ll never understand.” If love fails, at least we have friends.
“Blanket” marks a turning point in Abstract’s discography, yet it still maintains that quintessential sound and aesthetic Kevin has always had. As to what is in store for Abstract, it is unknown, but it will undoubtedly be impressive.