Rustie – Green Language

Review of: Green Language

Reviewed by:
On September 13, 2014
Last modified:January 2, 2016


On Green Language, Rustie vacillates between the gaudy and the ethereal with mixed results.

Rustie is no stranger to incandescent expression. His debut LP, Glass Swords, conjured up images of enchanted desert landscapes in which the listener was flooded with limitless energy to bask in the radiance of effervescent sunlight. Though it was slightly over-the-top at times, Glass Swords was a fun, refreshing take on electronica that illuminated Rustie’s path toward potential stardom. With his follow-up album, Green Language, Rustie has attempted to capitalize on his thirst for bigger things. Though the record falls short of expectations, there is something to be said about Rustie’s determination to craft tracks that are both bubbly and ethereal.

Green Language’s shiny production allows Rustie to shift between the bombastic and the celestial at a moment’s notice. When Rustie focuses on the latter, he manages to assemble some of the most beautiful sounds of his career. Take the title track, for instance, which dovetails the delicate sounds of a summer afternoon and a wispy synthesizer. Despite the gorgeous resonance of this track and few others, there is a glaring structural problem that proves detrimental to Green Language as a listening experience. Rather than being effectively utilized as interludes, these more nuanced tracks are mainly relegated to the beginning and end of the album. Therefore, some of them feel detached from the bombast that occurs within the meat of the LP and are portrayed more as afterthoughts than as dynamic movements to contrast Rustie’s voluminous tendencies.

This is odd because Green Language’s quieter moments offer much more substance than the mindless jumble of songs like “Up Down”, which are more annoying than invigorating. With the saturation of vocal features and the lack of flow from front to back, the brief sonic treasure that is the title track feels merely like an epilogue to an incomplete story. As far as the album’s structural issues go, one can also point to the opening tracks “Workship” and “A Glimpse”, which sound great on their own merits, but due to their equally short durations, come across as conflicting introductions that delay forward motion. This makes the launch of “Raptor” disappointing with its generic, repetitive beat that lacks the punch that its name promises.

Rustie shows a clear interest in festival-ready tracks toward the center of the album with decent tracks like “Velcro” and the Danny Brown-fronted “Attak”. As expected, Danny Brown’s rapping proficiency shines through his exciting delivery and his trademark eccentricity. Most of the vocalists, however, distract from any hint of textural intricacies beneath them and force Rustie to water down his production capabilities. This often leaves Rustie flailing in the background. The hip-hop influence at the center of the record simply feels at odds with the big picture Rustie is trying to build at its onset. As a result of the irritating, lazy hooks on tracks like “Lost”, which relies on auto-tune, most of the exuberant moments on Green Language resemble typical dance floor fodder. That is not to say Green Language does not succeed on some levels. “Paradise Stone” offers an interesting soundscape through its polished digital effects coupled with hard-hitting percussion. Though undeniably safe, “Dream On” is a pleasant song with a sweet vocal melody atop a breeze of swelling bass and synthesizers.

Stylistically, Rustie pulls from a variety of influences, including dubstep and ambient music, but as he vacillates between all of them, he surrenders an artistic vision that would otherwise bind Green Language together. This inconsistency does not kill the impact of the album’s highlights, but it makes the dearth of creativity on the weaker moments frustrating. Granted, Rustie’s versatility is manifested through Green Language’s variety, and his potential as a producer is not entirely squandered by the overload of vocal guests toward the middle of the record. Through his incorporation of colorful electronic effects, Rustie compensates for his lack of depth with playful ear candy, such as occasional sampling. The fact that many of the best tracks are among the album’s shortest simply leaves the listener wanting more. All in all, Rustie has delivered a mixed bag with Green Language, but it is a matter of which of the conflicting styles he commits to that will determine the path of his career.

Favorite Tracks:

Green Language
Paradise Stone
Dream On
A Glimpse

About Justin Swope (14 Articles)
Current staff writer at Re:Views. Also working in television as a Writers' Production Assistant on a new CBS sitcom. Alumnus of Syracuse University, and a big fan of music, movies, dogs, and ice cream.