The new clipping. album is one of the most incredible experiences of the year. Yes, it is actually worth the label of “experience”. The album is best listened to as a whole, but the two singles that have been chosen to be the face of the record are worth some time and attention that’s separate from the time and attention the full-experience will receive. Why these two songs? What about them makes the group think that this is putting their best foot forward?
The first single, ‘Baby Don’t Sleep’, is a rattling, distorted track about using hypersleep as a means to avoid the inevitable. Since clipping. are not a group known to go any sort of safe route, they flipped the expectation that a group will release the most easily digestible song from the record first. They also released the 2nd to last track of the album, which is another bold move since the album has such a strong, winding narrative. Perhaps being thrown into the latter half of the album gives fans of clipping. or people who may be into more experimental music a reason to check out the whole project, even if they’re just curious to see just how the concept is executed. In the traditional sense this song is not “single material” but in the universe of clipping. it had more than enough potential to be the leading single from the album.
Now, the second single ‘Air ‘Em Out’ is prime lead single material. It has a beat that bangs, a gritty, street vibe that echoes throughout the lyrics, which also contain references that show the type of influences that run through this space opera and a chorus that can stick in your brain with ease. All of these things work in conjunction with one another to create a perfect storm of a single, which is kind of funny when you think about it. They had this song waiting in the wings, but decided that ‘Baby Don’t Sleep’ was the song that should introduce people to the record. Not disparaging that decision as it’s one that works quite well and both the songs are of great quality, but once again, clipping. subvert expectations by releasing this song as the followup single. This is the song that could get more casual listeners to approach this record and possibly discover something that they may not have listened to otherwise as it resembles what most would consider a typical modern rap single.
The most important point about these two songs being singles is that they’re really the only songs from Splendor & Misery that can be singles. This album is an experience because a lot of these songs serve as hallways to more hallways that eventually lead to a destination. The hallways are interesting, but they are not meant to be separated out as they are so intertwined with the experience that they wouldn’t make much sense, or much of an impact, out of context. Releasing these songs as singles is clipping.’s warped version of playing it safe, as this album is unlike anything clipping. has done previously. If you’re going in expecting more of what you’ve heard before on CLPPNG or Wriggle, you may come out disappointed. However, if you approach this album with an open mind, you’ll be rewarded greatly for your efforts. It’s impressive that this album even has singles, but that’s clipping. for you, always working wonders.