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Album Review: The Internet ‘The Hive Mind’

The band’s most cohesive album to date.

Stephanie Hernandez

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The Internet uses their platform of feel good tunes to send a message of unity and hopefulness on their 2018 album Hive Mind. The record is their fourth studio album and most cohesive to date.

Not only do all five members contribute in their own special way, but lead vocalist Syd Bennett is no longer the main voice heard throughout the album, as Steve Lacy often takes over vocal duties. And each member contributes something to the soulfulness of each track of this neo-soul triumph.

After the band’s last critically acclaimed album, Ego Death, which included their breakout hit, “Girl,” there were a lot expectations to fulfill. That same album was nominated for the 58th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Urban Contemporary Album and did chart on both Billboards’ Top 200 and Top R&B/Hip Hop Album chart, peaking at number nine.

Each track, from start to finish, adds to the main guitar grooves and sexy soul rhythm that throughout are key to the sound.

Starting with “Come Together,” whose funky, bass intro entices, Hive Mind, lives up to its very definition. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the term “hive mind” is frequently used in reference to Internet users as, “the collective thoughts, ideas, and opinions of a group of people regarded as functioning together as a single mind.”

This album definitely displays the collaborative effort of different minds that “Come Together” to function as a single unit.

The funk continues to roll on “Roll (Burbank Funk)” with Lacy taking over on vocals and continuing to “LA DI DA” another up-tempo, groove filled track. On the sultrier, sexier side are “Come Over,” “Stay the Night,” “Mood,” and “Wanna Be.”

A standout track that The Internet uses to get the important message of being in the now (and the ever more important theme of being present) is “It Gets Better (With Time).” Dedicated to their friend and past collaborator Mac Miller in every performance. Bennett uses the sweeter side of her voice to convey the hopeful message of moving forward, facing the day, and continuing to let time pass by because “time can heal most any wound and ease most pain…” Featuring a spoken word verse from Big Rube, the song inspires the listener with a genuine message of hope in a better day after facing trials and tribulations.

The album finishes strong with the rhythmic “Beat Goes On,” with Lacy on vocals again. The continuing hook of “the beat goes on, the beat goes on” reflects the moving forward message from the previous track, “It Gets Better (With Time).” It finishes with “Hold On,” in which Bennett’s sensual vocals are showcased. To accompany the passionate vocals, the keyboards and horn add to a sort of yearning and lustful tone.

Hive Mind is a must listen from start to finish. Each of its songs stand alone, but collectively they bring about a cohesive picture of soulful pleasure. Multi-faceted in rhythm and soul, but also in message, the album succeeds in bringing together the five members’ unique styles to make something that transcends each of their ideas and opinions to bring together a single, functioning, hive mind.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

"Man I promise, she's so self-conscious..." about her writing. After 32 years of life, this transplant from Vegas moved to Austin, Texas to pursue her dreams of writing about music. In an attempt to quell the insatiable appetite her life has for music, she chose the live music capital of the world. Just another weirdo to keep Austin weird! You will often find her in the most obscure of dive bars in anticipation of that moment between the artist and audience, where the connection is most apparent. You know, the moment right before the artist comes out and both audience and artist share a deep breath, in unison, in anticipation of the show's direction. That is her definition of adventure. She is constantly in search of new music and treasures those true friends that send recommendations her way! When not going to shows, she spends her downtime curating new playlists for her many moods and friends. She would still make mix tapes if possible, but sadly no longer owns a cassette tape player. Life goal #1: to attend as many, if not all, music festivals in this lifetime.

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