‘What Could Possibly Go Wrong’ – It’s a fitting title for the uncertainty of 2020 and an even more fitting introduction to Dominic Fike’s first full-length feature album. It summarises his approach to music - all past records of his demos and music videos wiped from the internet in 2018. It’s a testament to the self-assurance he has in his own work; a testament to what he is making now. Hailing from Naples, Florida, Fike’s style is distinct. He doesn’t belong to a certain genre, slipping alternately into alternative-pop, rock and rap. His fluidity is one of the many things that draw his fans to his music. His debut echoes this feeling.
The album sits well alongside the Don’t Forget about Me demos, providing us with laid-back guitar riffs and the same conversational lyrics we’re used to hearing from him. On the closing track Florida, he jumps from I done took an L on every corner like a swastika to reminding himself to not take this shit too serious; an homage to the place he was raised despite the struggles his upbringing has brought him. This album differs from his previous work in that he seems more comfortable in the alternative-rock genre than before. This, combined with the twin influences of 90’s rap and early 2000’s pop ties the album together despite the fact that each song is so different to the other. His dry introspection is most perceptible on Cancel Me. With wishful thinking, he sings I hope they cancel me / so I can go be with my family/ so I can quite wearing this mask dawg. The catchy chorus is followed by verses that echo the same sentiments such as I hope they euthanize me. It’s partly self-confessional and partly an attempt at predicting what fame might just bring him. This theme of introversion and nostalgia runs throughout the album’s lyrics; Fike misses his hometown and isn’t too fond of LA.
At just under thirty-five minutes in length and boasting no features, this project feels intimate. Fike has been an allusive artist since his emergence on Soundcloud and he likes to keep it that way – his music is usually the only way to gain an insight into the real him.
His final comments on the album’s release are nothing less than what would be expected from the man himself:
“I literally got my moms outta jail and into a crib, my sister can go to college and my brother wears Gucci now but most importantly I don’t have to work for a living I will always do this for fun.”
It’s been beneficial for both artist and listener and his fans won’t be disappointed. His final and most important comment; “Don’t forget about me." It’s highly unlikely we will. Having already admitted to be working on his next album, his delivery and unpredictability as an artist will have us wondering about not what could possibly go wrong, but rather what could possibly come next.
A few of my favourites: Double Negative (Skeleton Milkshake), Cancel Me, Good Game, Vampire