Photo: Alec Merchant
There is no rhyme or reason to JPEGMAFIA's latest album, and perhaps it is better that way. The Los Angeles - based artist feels like less like a byproduct of a musical era that has done away with genres, and more akin to the movement's leading innovator.
Throughout every second of All My Heroes Are Cornballs, JPEGMAFIA seems as if he is searching inward in the hope of uncovering something greater than he has ever heard from the outside world. The result is an album unafraid to turn on its heels at a moment's notice in order to explore a widely disparate range of sonics. In many ways, JPEGMAFIA's latest arrives in stark contrast to his previous album, Veteran. Whereas Veteran was defined by its overwhelming haunting atmosphere and punk-meets-rap atmosphere, there is a resounding serenity to All My Heroes Are Cornballs.
The sense of calm found in JPEGMAFIA's All My Heroes Are Cornballs is a direct result of his approach to making music. He is a rare musical omnivore, tearing apart facets of rap, pop, punk, dream pop, indie rock, dance and who knows what else, to create a project that even at its most chaotic feels deeply-rooted in somewhat familiar concepts. It is exactly why a track like "Grimy Waifu," with its lo-fi and early net leanings can be preceded by the explosive "JPEGMAFIA TYPE BEAT," an interlude to put all other interludes to rest. JPEGMAFIA spoke on All My Heroes Are Cornballs in a candid Instagram post, sharing,
"This album is really a thank you to my fans tbh. I started and finished it in 2018, mixed and mastered it in 2019 right after the Vince tour. I don't usually work on something right after I release a project. But 'Veteran' was the first time in my life I worked hard on something, and it was reciprocated back to me. So I wanted thank my people. And make an album that I put my my whole body into, as in all of me. All sides of Me baby. Not just a few. This the most ME album I've ever made in my life, Im trying to give y'all niggas a warm album you can live in and take a nap in maybe start a family and buy some Apple Jacks to. I've removed restrictions from my head and freed myself of doubt musically. I would have removed half this shit before but naw fuck it. Y'all catching every bit of this basic bitch tear gas. This is me, all me, in full form nigga, and this formless piece of audio is my punk musical. I hope it disappoints every last one of u."
All My Heroes Are Cornballs is JPEGMAFIA's brash declaration for punk, not as a sound, but as a sentiment. It is an album that under the pretense of not caring about what the outside world may think, bears its fractured heart and soul.
Listen to All My Heroes Are Cornballs below: