On Time (feat. John Legend): Metro Boomin’s sequel to NAHWC kicks off with some angelic vocals, strings and a powerful performance by John Legend. The triumphant drums are interrupted by Morgan Freeman saying Metro’s iconic producer tag, giving way to the second section of this track: sinister horns, dark opera-esque vocals and a speech by Homelander transition effortlessly into the next track, making this one of my favorite transitions in hiphop (8/10).
Superhero (Heroes & Villains) [with Future & Chris Brown]: the first full track on the album hits us with Metro’s signature dark trap production (with the same horns from the intro) and an amazing verse from Future. While I consider the first half of this track one of the best tracks on the album, the second half feels very half-baked: I don’t really like Chris Brown’s melodies and even tho the nocturnal piano loop is interesting it gets boring quick (8.1/10).
Too Many Nights (feat. Don Toliver & with Future): I absolutely love the synthy, psychedelic and textured trap production on this track; and it also has one of my favorite basslines on the album. Don Toliver also makes his first appearance on the album with some incredibly catchy autotuned vocals. Future’s verse is backed by an amazing ambient synthwave outro. Really solid track and flawless trap production (8.5/10).
Raindrops (Insane) [with Travis Scott]: the sound of rainfall transitions beautifully into this reverbed nocturnal trap cut. Travis’s performance is really solid and brings out some catchy melodies, but the production marks the highest point for me: Metro once again manages to take dark trap and experiment with it while maintaining it’s roots. From the danceable drums to the triplet hihat rhythms in the outro section, this track marks a really high point on the album. My only gripe with this track is that Travis’s performance feels a little boring after a few listens, but it’s clear that this track is more about creating an atmosphere then lyrical ability (8.2).
Umbrella (with 21 Savage & Young Nudy): this track feels like something straight off a Savage Mode album. It features a typical menacing piano trap beat and some very solid verses from 21 and Nudy. Overall I enjoy this track but it doesn’t feel like anything special, just a standard 21 Savage track (7.5/10).
Trance (with Travis Scott & Young Thug): Metro returns with more masterfully creative production on “Trance”, a track with a very psychedelic touch. My favorite part about this song is the very creative soundscape in the outro, and aside from questionable lyrics like “I’m cleaning shit out like an enema” this track is really solid (8/10).
Around Me (feat. Don Toliver): I absolutely love Don Toliver’s beautiful reverb-soaked vocals on this track. The beat is very cinematic and atmospheric, with dark synths and tight percussion to back it all up; Don brings his best with some very catchy melodies and Morgan Freeman’s narration on the outro marks another great point on the track (8.6/10).
Metro Spider (with Young Thug): this might be one of the best performances on the album, with Thugger rapping his ass off to this very bouncy and sinister piano beat. The subtle strings, choir vocals and ambience make this whole track feel like a motorcycle trip thru Gotham at night. Thug brings his best on this one, and the outro transitions perfectly into the interlude (8.6/10).
I Can’t Save You (Interlude) [with Future & feat. Don Toliver]: even tho it’s very short this track manages to bring immaculate energy to the table with, amazing performances from both Future and Don Toliver. The hard trap percussion mixed with bright aggressive synth lead melodies make this a perfect interlude, and I also love A$AP Rocky’s narration on the outro (8.6/10).
Creepin’ (with The Weeknd & 21 Savage): this is by far the most popular track on the album, and for good reason since The Weeknd delivers one of his best guest appearances of his entire career. From the concept to the synthwave drums to the amazing hook, this track was set to pop off from the moment it dropped. I love everything about it aside from 21 Savage’s very out of place and unnecessary appearance (8.5/10).
Niagara (Foot or 2) [with Travis Scott & 21 Savage]: this is one of my highlights from the album. 21 has a dope contribution on the track, but Travis takes the lead on this one with his great energy and his amazing hook. The textured, atmospheric and nocturnal trap production once again shines. Rising pianos and another Morgan Freeman appearance make this track almost flawless (8.8/10).
Walk Em Down (Don’t Kill Civilians) [with 21 Savage feat. Mustafa]: this track was a VERY surprising listen. At first I thought I was in for another 21 Savage piano trap banger, until the violent nature of the first half peels back abruptly to reveal the most beautiful moment on the album. Soft and heartfelt pianos, delicate strings and a very vulnerable and raw performance from Mustafa make this a perfect moment (9/10).
Lock On Me (with Travis Scott & Future): this track feels a bit like filler, and the hooks is almost identical to Niagara so I found it a bit strange. The plucked guitar trap beat is solid, but not too creative. What saves this track for me is the synthwave-esque outro section: I absolutely love the bending synths, filtered percussion and reverbed vocals; Metro manages to create a great soundscape to close things off (7.2/10).
Feel The Fyaaaah (with A$AP Rocky & feat. Takeoff): after catching Rocky on different interludes across the album, finally hearing him deliver a fire verse was amazing. The best verse the track goes to Takeoff, who spits an impressive rhyme scheme based off the alphabet with great flows. The soul chops matched with fast 6/8 trap drums provide a great closer for the album, closing this chapter of Metro’s superhero arc (8.3/10).
All The Money (with Gunna) [Bonus]: this is a pretty unnecessary and underwhelming bonus track. The shadowy instrumental has a great sample, but I’m really not a fan of Gunna’s boring and sleepy delivery (6.7/10)
TOP 5 FAVORITE SONGS:
Walk Em Down (Don’t Kill Civilians) [with 21 Savage feat. Mustafa]
Niagara (Foot or 2) [with Travis Scott & 21 Savage]
Metro Spider (with Young Thug)
I Can’t Save You (Interlude) [with Future & feat. Don Toliver]
Around Me (feat. Don Toliver)
LEAST FAV TRACK: All The Money (with Gunna) [Bonus]
FAVORITE BEAT: Walk Em Down (Don’t Kill Civilians) [with 21 Savage feat. Mustafa]
FAVORITE PERFORMANCE:Metro Spider (with Young Thug)
"Metro, Metro, Metro, bought me a painting from Basel" (from Metro Spider (with Young Thug))
"Too many nights 'bout to crash, now I'm buyin' the foreigns, all cash, I can't slow down"(from Too Many Nights (feat. Don Toliver & with Future))
All of Takeoff's verse on Feel The Fyaaaah (with A$AP Rocky & feat. Takeoff)
Overall, this is a great album.
I love the soundscapes that Metro creates on these tracks and they further solidify him as one of the greatest trap producers of all time; he manages to experiment with psychedelic and synthy elements while remaining true to his signature dark trap style. I can’t say he always brings the best out of his features as there’s some underwhelming performances on this project, but the highs are very high.
This project marks the pinnacle of trap music right now and most of my issues reside in the concept: he’s clearly going for one on “Heroes & Villains”, but it’s difficult to pinpoint it and it winds up being more of an aesthetic (and definitely not a bad one).
I’d go as far as to call it better then it’s predecessor “Not All Heroes Wear Capes”, and I look forward to more projects from Metro.