Perfect Album Series: 130 Mood: TRBL by Dean

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Will I ever shut up about Dean? Probably not. For, it all started with I Love It, which came out before 130 Mood: TRBL. However, this is one of the most cohesive and compositionally complex albums I’ve ever heard. Each song has a purposeful place in the album and it all serves to create a story line in way that showcases Dean’s genius.

The Composition

The album effectively runs backwards. It begins with an outro which is filled with the torment and tumult of the end of a relationship. It then retraces its steps through the relationship–in all the glory of its rise and fall–to its hopeful beginning.

It almost reads like a movie. You could feel each song being the soundtrack to a different scene as you tumbled toward the bitter end. Dean helps this by providing music videos that shape the story for you. In D (Half Moon), we see a couple separated and distant and in Bonnie & Clyde, we see a couple that is in serious turmoil and that is as bad for one another as they are for everyone else.

Honestly, I think they’re critical to your experience. You can’t fully understand the extent of Dean’s creativity until you see how he performs. He’s talented in dramatics and nothing reflects that more accurately than those two music videos.

The Highlights

Because I Love It was the first Dean song I ever heard, it has a special place in my heart. It’s sensual and showcases both the softness that Dean’s voice can have and the strength. The song is what I like to call “chill lit” wherein you’re still excited but it’s not quite a shot of energy.

However, my favorite–the one that I will always love best–is D (Half Moon). That song is instant relaxation. It’s rainy days and warm blankets and a quiet, comforting sort of sadness. It’s a song that speaks of impending heartbreak and yet it makes me so happy and wistful for something I never had.

The other masterpiece on this album is What 2 Do featuring Crush. It’s quiet and contemplative. It has a touch more urgency than D (Half Moon) in its lyrics but it’s also just as calm. Plus there’s something about Crush’s voice that brings everything to another level.

Final Thoughts

With rumors (though they’re not quite rumors so much as unspecific release dates) floating around of a Dean comeback, it’s no surprise that 130 Mood: TRBL is on my mind. It introduced me to a whole new genre music and it’s reshaped my music taste entirely. I prefer the quiet and jazzy chillhop, with its use of lo-fi elements and soulful vocals.

I’m not gonna pretend to adore Dean as a person because I don’t know enough about him to really say whether I like him. Dean is a pretty mysterious figure, even now after having been around behind-the-scene for years and debuted for two. However, this I can with absolute certainty: he is a genius and 130 Mood: TRBL was his masterpiece.

What do you all think about 130 Mood: TRBL? Have you listened to it at all? What do you about Dean’s style of music?

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