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A Landlocked Autumn: The Greatest Album of 2015 That You Never Heard

Johnathan Middleton

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From his home in Boston, to Salt Lake City, Utah, to Austin, Texas, east-coast rapper Michael Dunphy, under his rapper name “Early Adopted,” has made an album that gives insight to a struggling independent artist trying to overcome heartbreak.

A Landlocked Autumn, released in July of 2015, is Boston rapper Early Adopted’s strongest and most emotional album yet. The album shows listeners how hard it can be to make it as a hip-hop artist without being signed to a record label, and being his fourth full-length solo album, there’s a sense of experience and maturity in his lyrics that couldn’t be found in his past projects.

The intro to the album, titled, “Validate,” starts with Early Adopted talking about his struggles to buy merchandise because of his financial situation, and his regrets and self uncertainty of whether or not he even deserves another chance at a past relationship, whose ending was his own doing. In the chorus, he sings, “Her heart is all done breaking, she don’t need anything else,” showing that in addition to being a rapper, he’s a talented and confident singer.

That’s the thing about this album that sets it apart from his previous projects: the energy and melody of his lyrics. In his first two albums, Let’s Be Honest, and Chilling Will Kill You, Dunphy focused the majority of his songs on rapping his choruses, and not so much singing, but he’s really evolved and used his unique voice to his advantage in recent years. The amount that he sang in his third album, No Thank You, Myla, is about the same as A Landlocked Autumn, but there’s a different energy about him.

In his new album, the instrumentals are more upbeat, and his singing gives off a more energetic vibe. He takes pride in the creativity of his lyrics, and the melodies he makes when he sings allows his words to roll right off his tongue. In the 15th song of the album, “Bridges,” in a small break after the chorus, Dunphy sings, “Burning bridges is only incentive to swim. I don’t mind getting wet, as long as we both fell in.”

“Teeth to Dust (feat. Sadistik)”, “Character/Caricature”, “Underwater”, and “Sleep Light (My Love)” show an array of emotions through stories that Early Adopted clearly tells, a talent that is especially hard to find in hip-hop today. The most upbeat of those, Underwater, has my favorite lyric of the whole album. “I thought that I was drowning, until I tried to breathe. And I’ve been underwater this whole time, do you wonder about me?”

A Landlocked Autumn will open up your mind to the world of a man trying to find his way in the world, something everyone is able to relate to.

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A Landlocked Autumn: The Greatest Album of 2015 That You Never Heard