Edge, Music, Reviews

‘Good Times Ahead’ blends genres, features variety of artists

It’s no secret that Miami is the hotbed for all things electronic music. Our city has been the stomping ground of some of the genre’s biggest superstars, such as Steve Aoki, not to mention the fact that Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami is home to Ultra Music Festival, one of the world’s largest electronic music festivals.

GTA (which stands for “Good Times Ahead”), a D.J. and production duo consisting of 25-year-olds Matt Toth and Julio Medija, may be Miami’s next electronic sensation. The two have already amassed a wealth of achievements, such as collaborations with both Diplo and Skrillex, performing at Lollapalooza and touring the world with Rihanna. Now, GTA has released their debut album “Good Times Ahead,” featuring guest appearances such as singer Tinashe and rapper Vince Staples.

The album starts off strong with “True Romance” featuring Jarina De Marco, as much pop and R&B as it is electronic, followed by “Little Bit of This” featuring Vince Staples, which features some killer verses from the Long Beach rapper over a hard instrumental that perfectly fuses hip-hop with some strong electronic influences. With “Feel It” featuring Tunji Ige, listeners finally get a track that is right at home at Ultra with its driving synths and bass, as well as another great rap verse that elevates the song even further. With “Heartbeat” comes a curveball, as what sounds like a shiny pop track suddenly gives way to a dark and minimalistic drop, before successfully digging its way back out again.

Wax Motif brings catchy melodies on “Get It All” and, although the track succumbs to a handful of overplayed EDM tropes, the vocal performance is exciting enough to keep the song interesting throughout. “All Caught Up” featuring Tinashe, while sounding like an AlunaGeorge throwaway track at times, still comes through with some worthwhile musical climaxes both vocally and instrumentally. “In My Nature” featuring Karina, on the other hand, is hard to be described as anything other than “nothing special” with some of the most uninteresting instrumentation and singing on the album thus far.

Staccato, robotic arpeggios punctuate “Pressure” featuring RKCB, a song that won’t blow any minds but will rather keep heads rocking back and forth. The penultimate track “Contract” featuring Iamsu! is another definite highlight, showing that GTA’s exploration of hard-hitting rap tracks is certainly one of their most successful and entertaining directions musically. Finally, we’re left with “Illuminate,” which fails to take us out on much of a high note, as the grating synth-driven drop makes listeners want to turn it off.

Overall, GTA’s “Good Times Ahead” does something important. It fuses electronic music with pop, hip-hop and R&B in more adventurous ways than the myriad of trendy and ultimately lame attempts that seem to be dominating the pop charts at the moment. While the album certainly isn’t safe from verging on generic at times, it is definitely able to counter that with a handful of successful pop tunes, rap bangers and EDM tracks.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

October 22, 2016

Reporters

Jon Vilardi


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

UM dining services team earns national recognition for special event catering. ...

From hammerheads to great whites, University of Miami researcher Neil Hammerschlag is a dedicated sp ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

Miami senior Tyler Gauthier was named to the 2018 Fall Watch List for the Rimington Trophy presented ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.