LandoIsLiving – Montana Magic (2023) Album Review
Let’s Go for a Walk: the album opens with a skit, where Lando describes his process behind making this project and invites us to listen to the tracks in order. Although I find skits to be risky when composing an album (since they can either elevate the project to a whole other level or completely ruin it), I feel that this one was well executed (N/A).
The Last Best Place: being one of the singles released prior to the album, The Last Best Place introduces us to the acoustic/lofi country-esque sound of Montana Magic. With a catchy guitar loop, driving bass and hard-hitting drums; the instrumental is captivating and creative, and Lando delivers his autotune-soaked lyrics about weed & nature effortlessly over this track. A great first track, but I feel like his delivery could use more diversity (7.5/10).
To Hell with It: a very catchy acoustic guitar carries us thru one of the best tracks on the project: tight trap drums, bass slides and bouncy melodies meld together beautifully with Lando’s creative singing and captivating personality. There’s a few rough moments lyrically (like a bar about “making music with the cows”), but overall, this track stands out for me as one of the best (8/10).
Going Thru Alot: reverb drenched electric guitar loops once again take the lead in this atmospheric & catchy trap song. I do feel like the track would sound better with some vocal harmonies and layers, but the hook remains one of my favorites. The smooth vocal chops on the outro also sound very beautiful (7.5/10).
Settle in for the Day: the bright plucked guitars and driving drum loop on the beat compliment the enticing and energetic vocals that Lando delivers, but I have mixed feelings about the Don Traps feature. Although lyrically it’s pretty solid; I feel like his flows sound a little too flat and his singing is out of key in different sections. This track sounds good, but it can feel very repetitive after a while and after a few listens it already feels stale (6.5/10).
Montana Foreign: with one of the best beats on the album, Montana Foreign goes down as one of the best tracks off the album. The lyrics feature a lot of introspection mixed with Lando’s signature weed talk, and a feature from yours truly closes things off. I loved this beat from the moment I heard it, and I think it’s one of his hardest performances on the project. The only true flaw with the track is the over 60 seconds of silence 1. after the track ends, but it could’ve been intentional. (8.3/10)
It’s Really Coming Down: the second interlude off the project really connects things and enhances the feeling of being on a ranch somewhere in Montana listening to this album. Great soundscape (N/A)
You You You: I absolutely love Lando’s charisma and lyrics on this track, as his autotuned melodies once again prove to work magic over lofi-esque acoustic guitars. Around 2:12 the autotune goes out of key for a bit and it sounds a little rough, but the rest of the track is very fun and light to listen to. The replay value is through the roof (8.3/10)
Country Today: Lando takes us back to his ranch on the most country inspired track on the album, as proven by the multiple references to Bud Light & trucks. Flint Child also throws a great raspy-voiced feature into the mix. It isn’t really a genre that I would return to very often just based off personal taste, but I can absolutely see this track playing at a small-town fair somewhere in Alabama. (7.5/10)
Big Vibes: a great narrated intro about pain and living in the now leads us into another catchy acoustic guitar driven trap beat. As Lando continues to process his breakup, we slowly see him embrace his emotions more. I have two small issues with this track tho: I think the narrations could’ve been better without autotune & I think his vocals could use more variety. This track still really stands out to me (7.5/10).
Drop Dead Gorgeous: the plucky electric guitars make their triumphant return on this bright banger song about a special someone. The drums sound very crisp and YV Dean delivers a great feature (even tho the mixing has a bit too much piercing high end and his vocals are turned up too loud) (7.4/10).
Right Now: this is favorite song off the project. The reverb soaked guitars and beautiful hook give this song the feeling of driving down a highway next to a skyline at 2 AM, and the drums hit just right (they’re powerful enough to hit but not enough to overpower the whole track). Lyrically we see Lando at one of his lowest points, as he mourns the loss of his relationship and shows us his vulnerable side (8.7/10).
Over a Text: I am in love with this beat. The bouncy guitars and super danceable drums make this a super catchy song, and it all hits it’s climax at the 2:00 mark. This song manages to be different from the rest of the tracks on the album, but remains true to the original sound of the record. The infectious wet whistles are the cherry on top of this track, adding a western feel to the overall vibe. The track has a few mixing flaws tho: it needs a lot more bass and Lando’s vocals sound a bit too loud at points. I think the instrumental needs more space to shine, especially in the drop section (8.5/10).
Peace & Tranquility: the album closes off with a field recording of what sounds like a rainy day on his ranch, giving us a taste of peace (N/A).
TOP 5 FAVORITE SONGS:
Over a Text
You You You
To Hell with It