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The Vector

Watsky Ends Trilogy With Strong ‘INTENTION’ Part 2

Photo from Spotify

When we last left off, Watsky released “INTENTION,” the third album of what he calls the “symmetry trilogy.” He promoted this release as a conclusion to the series, the end of an era, and maybe even the end of his “Watsky” persona, but right as the album was finishing up… surprise! An alternate reality game tied to the release was announced, leading fans to collaborate online and in the real world to solve various puzzles in hopes of unlocking the second half of the album. Upon successful completion of these puzzles, on April 12, 2023, Watsky released the last nine songs of “INTENTION.” 

This second set of songs mirrors the first to an extent. The “opener,” track 10 of the now 18-track record, is another reflection piece. Titled “NOTHING LIKE THE LAST TIME,” the name is a direct reference to Watsky’s 2012 mixtape, “Nothing Like the First Time,” while the song itself references no fewer than ten of his past songs, from 2010’s “Pale Kid Raps Fast” all the way to “THE TRUTH” from the first half of the album. While it was enjoyable to try to pick out the references to my favorite songs of his, the sheer number of references made it hard to actually understand the plot of the song. I was too distracted looking for the next little snippet. 

Other musically interesting tracks on this album include “FLOAT,” a serene piece in 7/4 time. If you are interested in weird time signatures, this song will surely scratch an itch. Plot-wise, the track talks about Watsky spending his life with someone he cares about, and his desire to just “float with” them. The drum groove is expectedly fun to listen to, and the main riff of the song easily gets stuck in your head. 

“BREAK MY HEART,” the fifth song on this half of the album, Watsky is talking to a lover, presumably about how he doesn’t want to break up with them. He would prefer if the lover ended the relationship because he can’t bring himself to do it on his own, even though he’s ready to move on to something or someone new. It’s a song that can be described as “honest,” with a perspective you don’t typically see even from other breakup songs. 

Just like with the first half, the second half of this album highlights a multitude of features. Aside from two more songs featuring Camila Recchio, “FOOL 4” and “CHANGE ON THE WAY HOME,” we also get features of two artists I haven’t heard of before: Mike Squires and Abhi the Nomad. “SEARCHING,” featuring Squires, had a good hook, but it wasn’t totally clear what Squires’ contribution was. 

On the other hand, “YOUNG RUETTIGER,” which featured Abhi the Nomad, is a clear collaboration and an absolute banger at that. It’s incredibly high energy, and it’s hard to be in a bad mood when it comes up. The bridge features a fantastic half-time breakdown, as well. This is easily my favorite song in the second half and maybe even the whole album, and it makes perfect sense for it to have been the only single for the second half. 

The final song in the list, “TO FEEL A LITTLE LESS ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE,” is a non sequitur for Watsky: he doesn’t rap on it. He describes the track as instrumental, though the song is littered with recordings of several people introducing him at the various competitions in which he has participated. The track was composed and produced by Watsky himself. It makes for a great closer, both to the album and the trilogy. 

Watsky has said that “INTENTION” is not his last album, but that it’s a chapter break for him. I look forward to seeing the next chapter of George Watsky’s career — and I give this album four crabs. 

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Evan Markowitz, Guest Contributor
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