Juice WRLD’s posthumous album brings the pain

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Photo Courtesy of Genius

Juice WRLD's posthumous album, "Legends Never Die," released on Friday, July 10.

Michael Pearce, Editor-in-Chief

Just over seven months after his death, Juice WRLD’s new album, Legends Never Die, released worldwide on Friday, July 10. The album received incredible reception, with almost every song reaching the Spotify trending page days after being released.

Juice discusses some familiar and some atypical topics in this new project. Of course, the main themes are darkness, demons, drug addiction and depression, but these four D’s are far from what makes this album. Juice goes into many positive topics as well — his loving relationship, his mother and his self-image.

As a whole, the album touches on many basic human feelings and struggles, while still reminding listeners that Juice was a special up-and-coming artist. There are noticeable tone shifts throughout the album — from an upbeat melody with Halsey expressing love for his girlfriend to a soul-crushing solo song about his struggles with addiction, depression and anxiety — the listener gains a deeper appreciation for what Juice WRLD could have been.

His first two projects, Goodbye & Good Riddance and Death Race For Love,” were both great albums for a young artist to start off with, but “Legends Never Die” steps it up a notch. The production quality and provoked emotion radiates from every song, impacting the person listening on a deeper level. The emotions run especially deep considering how Juice passed. 

On Dec. 8, 2019, Juice (Jarad Higgins) and his crew were flying into an airport with illegal drugs and guns on board. The pilot called the police before landing, and the plane was being searched when Higgins had a seizure from ingesting too many painkillers.

Knowing the context of his death makes Juice’s lyrics even more powerful, especially with his history of addiction. Lines like, Let’s be for real / If it wasn’t for the pills, I wouldn’t be here / But if I keep taking these pills, I won’t be here,” hit especially hard with what the world knows now. Those pills which made him famous ultimately cost him his life, and he knew they would.

Despite the painful lyrics that foreshadow Juice’s demise, there are fun songs on Legends Never Die.” Both of the songs that Marshmello produced are high quality, with “Come and Go,” providing a punk rock feel to it. “Man of the Year” sounds like a fun, college song that would intro a teen rom-com. These kind of songs provide more depth to “Legends Never Die,” something that wasn’t as present in Juice’s first two albums.

It’s hard to find a part of this album that feels incomplete. There are two interludes as well as an intro and outro which tug on the emotions of listeners and 17 total songs. On subsequent listens, these are skippable, but there are few to no songs that are throwaways. This album was very close to being finished when Juice died.

With such high quality and very few songs that are skippable, Legends Never Die” reveals the hard truth of Juice WRLD’s death — he was incredibly talented, but the best was still yet to come. 

Rating: 5/5 stars