Almost a year after his untimely passing, Lil Peep’s second full length record, Come Over When You’re Sober Pt.2 (COWYS Pt.2) is finally with us. Produced with care and respect by long-time collaborator Smokeasac, it is a perfect and logical elaboration of Peep’s legacy and style. It is also a record dripping with pathos and tragic foreshadowing.
Before he died, Peep was on the very precipice of stardom, and this release only reaffirms his potential for worldwide glory. The candidness in which Peep addressed his insecurities, mental health and drug addiction was exactly what his fans gravitated towards. But make no mistake, these notions were never glorified. Instead, Peep shone a necessary but glaring light on the reality that many face but few unfortunately discuss, acting as a voice for the unspoken, unsung masses. Writing this review was always going to be a bittersweet affair.
What is evident much throughout COWYS Pt.2 is a significant shift in production and vocals. Whilst still retaining the trap beats, 808s, and sampling that made Peep’s sound so idiosyncratically distinct, there is a heavier use of real instrumentation. The use of guitars here are more pronounced, reflecting Peep’s ties to the emo scene from which he blossomed. Tracks ‘16 Lines’ and ‘Sex with My Ex’ carry this rawer sound whilst still being seamlessly woven in to the classic ‘SoundCloud rapper’ soundscape.
There is lyrical development to be found too. ‘Life is Beautiful’, the last single to be released, strays away from tropes of playboy debauchery to adopt a global, even philosophical stance. Juggling between the depressive, brutal reality of life whilst still identifying those silver linings is a level of poignancy previously unseen.
Peppered throughout COWYS Pt.2 (and indeed most of Peep’s discography) are lines that even today carry a macabre weight to them. “I’m not gonna last long” (‘Fingers’) and “I think I’ma die alone inside my room” (‘Life is Beautiful’) are stark reminders of the tragedy that was to come. The opening track – ‘Broken Smile (My All)’ – however, offers a sombre but much needed sense of closure for listeners as Peep murmurs “I gotta go right now, that’s all” over a sparse instrumental.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Despite Peep’s overall depressive aesthetic, there are moments of triumph and wryness embedded in the tracks. Lead single ‘Cry Alone’ captures the resentment towards small-minded peers in small-minded towns in a single line – “I hate everybody in my home town, I wanna burn my old high school in to the ground”. It’s this rage and no-fucks-given delivery that makes Peep a cultural zeitgeist for those made to feel inferior. Elsewhere, ‘Sex with My Ex’ masks feelings of guilt and regret behind an infectious melody and chorus, enabling it to stand out as one of the more (ironically) uplifting tracks.
COWYS Pt.2 ultimately presents shifts both lyrically and sonically that would have undoubtedly propelled Lil Peep to the forefront of the global music scene. It’s a harrowing, but appropriate conclusion to a year of uncertainty and anguish experienced by both friends and fans alike. With the promise of future releases and even a documentary, Come Over When You’re Sober Pt.2 is not the end, but rather, a promising and hopeful new beginning.