Intellexual is the joint effort of Chicago producers Nico Segal and Nate Fox, best known for their work within Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment and their collaborations with friends like Chance The Rapper, Knox Fortune and Jamila Woods. Their eponymous debut find the duo exploring the depths of electronica, pop hooks and rap, but their end results can sometimes feel like a drop in the ocean.
Certain songs definitely stand out. Opening track “Popstar” is a blooming, multifaceted beauty with plenty of textural depth. “Money” and “Boca” are both exciting instrumental tracks, bursting with layers that constantly had me coming back for more. Sonically, Intellexual is packed to the brim with vivid and lush production, which, regrettably, seems to be its only notable trait.
The album falls flat in other areas; namely vocal performances and songwriting. The dull and uninteresting lyrics liken Intellexual to a poorly fleshed out attempt at an electronic pop record than anything else. Multiple segments of the album also left me with a dreadful sense of déjà vu, with some songs feeling far too recognizable.
While the record as a whole comes off half-baked, Intellexual is still undeniably a fun and gorgeous sounding album from two artists who have left an indelible mark on projects like ‘Acid Rap’ and ‘Coloring Book’. You’d be a fool not to put your ears on any future project these young producers put their names on.