“I Didn’t Mean to Haunt You” – Quadeca Album Review
Written by mccormacke1 on October 9, 2023
Review by Michael Johns
One of my favorite albums that received critical acclaim from his smaller yet dedicated fanbase was Quadeca’s I Didn’t Mean To Haunt You which was released on November 10th, 2022. This album is primarily indie folk (more on that later) and runs for 57 minutes at 11 songs. This album is a concept album which covers the story of a ghost going through emotions of depression, regret and loneliness while looking over and “haunting” people close to him before his death.
Benjamin Lasky, better known by his stage name, Quadeca, made a splash in the internet hip-hop scene with his debut album Voice Memos in 2019 and further showed his ability to impress with his production within his more alternative r&b/hip-hop release of 2021 From Me To You. Needless to say, it was surprising to everyone following him up until that point when he transitioned from a hip-hop space to an indie folk album within a year and a half.
However, Quadeca makes the transition seamlessly as the strengths of his hip-hop music such as his grand production and introspective lyricism transition into “I Didn’t Mean To Haunt You” perfectly. You can hear this on songs such as “born yesterday” that have lots of hints of hip-hop production and song structure, but otherwise the ideas for the production are completely new for his discography. This results in this album sounding like a perfect fusion of the old and the new for dedicated listeners of Quadeca.
The reason why it is hard to classify this album into any specific genre is because, the album can sound different depending on which part of which song you are on. For example, the intro song “sorry4dying” could be described as a pop or indie electronic track, but the song right after “tell me a joke” is primarily an indie folk song, and you even have tracks like “knots” with hardcore rapping and loud rock drums and guitars. The unpredictability of this album adds to the emotions that the songs bring forth as they sound that much more tumultuous when each song shifts genres as the main character of the album switches through emotions.
The features of this album consist of alternative rapper Danny Brown, the Sunday Service Choir and percussionist most known for his work with Swans, Thor Harris. All of these features bring good variety to the album such as Danny Brown on the song “house settling” who breaks up the slow pace of the song into his own much faster portion surprising listeners with his fast and unique rapping. The Sunday Service Choir is a good ending to the song “fractions of infinity” and adds an even more relaxing vibe to the already relaxing tunes that the song offers. Thor Harris is the narrator and percussionist for the last song “cassini’s division” and he does absolutely well in this role wrapping up the concept perfectly.
Overall, none of the features on this album disappointed and they added lots to the album in terms of variety and overall quality. As I said before this album is a concept album which covers a ghost experiencing emotions of loneliness and regret. This ghost is looking over his friends and family from the astral plane, not being able to contact them in ways other than a footstep on a dusty floor or making animals run away from him (which are all popular urban legend signs of ghosts).
Quadeca has harrowing lines throughout the album that really convey the horrors of the circumstances of his death and what he did after. The production also relays the feelings of the ghost character perfectly rapidly changing in tone and shifting throughout the album. He portrays these feelings of loneliness and sadness so well that in my opinion you can almost relate to it despite not being a ghost yourself. The ghost sees the people he holds dear slowly move on and live without him. This story is definitely emotionally compelling and is something that I personally always look forward to when going back to this album for a re-listen.
In terms of my favorites say on this album I would say “tell me a joke,” “born yesterday,” “house settling,” “knots,” “fantasyworld,” and finally “fractions of infinity.” I really like these songs because while they are all from different genres and different inspirations these all sound amazing from a production standpoint and are all incredibly well written. The endings of “born yesterday” and “fantasyworld” are especially compelling and have almost brought me to tears.
One song that I find myself coming back to the least other than outro song and interlude is “picking up hands,” mostly because the production seems messy and while the lyrics are compelling, in my opinion it is one of the weaker songs on the album in that factor as well.
Despite whatever criticisms I have for this album I absolutely love this record and would recommend it to anyone who likes music really. There is something for everyone within this album and I hope whoever checks it out enjoys it.