Mod Sun aimed to create a cinematic experience with Movie, his sophomore album. While this flick on wax likely won’t pack the proud Minnesota native shows with hoards of new fans, it’s an batch of enjoyable party tunes that will delight his core audience.
Movie is Dazed and Confused meets 10 Things I Hate About You for the millennial generation. Its architect created a breezy palette on which to paint his tales of living it up, chasing girls and the occasional pause for self-reflection. If you’re looking for Skyzoo-level lyricism, you won’t get it here. “We do this shit every night/All we ever see is flashing lights/And they don’t fuck with us, sike/We get whatever we like,” Sun rhymes plainly on “We Do This Shit.” However, the track’s wistful piano keys, as well as Sun’s feel-good sentiments and a solid turn from Dej Loaf, turn the cut into a winner. The same is true for “She Just Wanna Dance,” on which Sun repeats the title over and over until it’s pleasantly swimming in your brain cells.
While Sun doesn’t offer much creativity in the worn themes of pouring up, flossing, and the opposite sex, he does show versatility in his style. He shows a remarkable flair for the pregnant pause, while “You Are” finds him adopting a speed-rap flow to excellence. There are a few missteps. “Too” is an admirable attempt at a concept joint but the too/two shtick grows tired just a minute into the song. The Mary Jane-courting anthem, “Smokin’ What I’m Smokin’ On” features a paint-by-numbers trap beat by Don Cannon and the song itself fails to stand out from the myriad of rap weed odes. More often than not, though, the appealing packaging supersedes lyrical and conceptual shortcomings. This is in no small part because of the production; “Beautiful Problem” features delightfully airy production, while Cannon turns in a bombastic thumper on “WWYGADT.”
It’s not all red Solo cups and beer pong, either. The end of the album features two starkly reflective joints, “Make Something of Yourself” and “The End or Start Again.” The latter hints at what Sun is capable of when he’s locked into his pen game: “How many mistakes will I make until I start to get it/I’m so sick of saying I’m sorry and being fake forgiven.” While such moments are refreshing, it’s clear throughout that lyrical dexterity is not Mod Sun’s end game. Rather, Movie is his take on the carefree, Saturday night life of college kids and perennial partiers. He won’t ascend to new heights by treading on such familiar themes, but ear-grabbing production and a focus on fun ensures this album is a preemo choice for pregame playlists.