For an artist known for subverting expectations and doing generally whatever he pleases with his art, the past few projects from BONES under his flagship alias have been much of the same as far as content is concerned. It seems as if he has reserved his more experimental and daring artistic goals for such projects as surrenderdorothy and various other collaborative efforts in 2019. Like it or not, he is sticking to what he does best on his mainline releases, and that trend continues on his newest project KickingTheBucket.

Fans of his previous work will have no problem getting into this album in its entirety. It is the prototypical sound that is heard on nearly all of his previous endeavors under this alias. All of the general aspects are here: the boisterous bangers, the charming divulgence into a funky track randomly in the tracklist, and of course the lowkey and minute bar-fests. These are staples of such classic albums in his discography, but do they combine for a holistic listening experience and hit as well as celebrated projects like 2014’s Garbage and Skinny respectively?

The short answer to this is unfortunately a resounding no. These tracks – while admirable from a painfully basic spectacle – fail to truly capture the essence of those aforementioned albums. Though negative in nature, this sentiment really is not a mark on both the listening experience and his discography as a whole. This is due to the fact that this project is not much of a grandiose statement or movement for the artist in question; it is more of a transitional/hold-me-over type ordeal.

Clocking in just 26 minutes, the album is a quick foray into everything that makes BONES all that he is. Tracks such as “Mortuary” and “SexualAssultInTheWorkPlace” serve as worthwhile bangers that can be added to the long list of songs in his catalog that hit on insane levels. Slithering and smooth offerings like “Carhartt” and “AllDressedUpToGoDreaming” round out the previously mentioned intensity with clean bars and that always consistent flow of his.

The rest of the tracklist is made up of tracks that either slow everything down via soft guitar ballads and emotionally gripping lyrics, or songs that are either too short or too underwhelming to even grasp the listener’s attention. Such is a common problem with many sub-30 minute albums with only 12 tracks.

KickingTheBucket makes for a decent offering from BONES, but nothing well-substantiated enough to mark a significant spike in quality or divulgence when compared to his full catalog. With the exception of the aforementioned acclaimed releases along with a few others, the only projects that protrude themselves out of his lengthy discography are of course the essential duo of PaidProgramming and its sequel. With the third installment in that series expected to drop this year, maybe the scene will finally be gifted another certified must-listen after such a long time.