I haven’t done a track-by-track review of an album since Mike Stud dropped Relief back in May, but after listening to Huey Mack’s Pretending Perfection I realized I had to do another one. I’ve let the album sink in since it dropped a couple days ago, and it really is by far the best work he’s ever released. Huey has been one of my favorite artists for years now, but Pretending Perfection is on a whole different level. Let’s get this review started.
Pretending Perfection: An intro can make or break an album. If it sucks, a lot of people won’t listen to the rest of the songs. If it’s ridiculously good but the rest of the album isn’t on that level, people will think less of the project. Huey found a perfect medium here. “Pretending Perfection” (obviously named after the title of the album) is one of my favorite songs on the album, but that’s okay because every other song is also very good. He shows off his improved singing voice in a very catchy hook, and kills his verses. It’s definitely a strong opening to the mixtape.
Amazing (Feat. Plus): This is one of the many very real songs on Pretending Perfection. It’s basically Huey reflecting on himself and the choices he’s made. Despite being a pretty slow song, the production for this track is on point. “Amazing” is another example that shows how far Huey has evolved from being solely a frat rapper.
Take It All Back: I’m probably going to say this at least 3 or 4 times throughout this review, but “Take It All Back” is one of my favorite songs on the album. Huey talks about a girl with a bad past, and wonders if she’d “Take It All Back” for him. When a lot of people think about Huey Mack they think of a guy who gets drunk and has sex all the time, so it’s interesting to hear him rap about the other perspective. As Huey has seemingly matured as a person, he’s also matured into an all around better artist. “Take It All Back” shows that in a nutshell. It also features my favorite instrumental off the album, and you can watch the music video Huey dropped for this song here!
Be Alright (Feat. Mike Stud): “Be Alright” was the lead single off Pretending Perfection, and features everyone’s favorite former collegiate pitcher Mike Stud. Huey puts his vocal range on display for this track, and they both deliver tremendous verses. It’s not a party song, but it’s also pretty upbeat for how real the song is. Mike and Huey have developed a chemistry that few other artists have, so it’s always great to her them collaborate.
Cruella De Vil: As real and heartfelt as most of Pretending Perfection is, you can’t have a Huey Mack album without a banger party track! There isn’t one thing about this song that I don’t like. The production is ridiculously good, Huey’s punchlines still have me laughing, and the deep, A$AP Rocky sounding hook is really cool. The people who became fans of Huey Mack because of his frat rap will definitely love this one.
Real Me: “Real Me” is Huey’s way of letting his fans get to know the man behind the boy named Hue. He wants to tell about who he really is, a kid from West Virginia named Joey Michael. “Real Me” takes a look at Huey’s life, including his family, how he makes money and goes on tours, and many more topics. Despite being such a legitimate and honest song, it’s very upbeat and certainly one you can jam to. This is another one that falls under the category of “one of my favorite songs on Pretending Perfection“.
Charlotte: I’m pretty sure I shed a tear after hearing this one. “Charlotte” is named after Huey’s mother, and he tells the story of their bond and everything she went through for him. It also brings up the very depressing fact that she’s been diagnosed with cancer multiple times, and how she’s still fighting it. You can tell not only how kindhearted of a person Huey is from listening to this song, but how good of a son he is as well. Huey turned this fragile, depressing topic, and made a beautiful song out of it.
Good For Me: As we’ve come to expect from Pretending Perfection as a whole, “Good For Me” has an amazing beat. It balances a slow, melodic rhythm with an upbeat vibe that Huey handled perfectly with his verses. I feel like “Good For Me” will go kind of under the radar because it doesn’t have the big song appeal of a song like “Be Alright” or “Real Me”, but it’s a great track nonetheless.
Just Wanna Live: The second banger on Pretending Perfection is “Just Wanna Live”. The title basically says it all; Huey wants to live his life and doesn’t care what his haters have to say. This type of song is what made Huey who he is, and he takes full advantage of that. Plus, any song that incorporates Barry Bonds into the lyrics is cool with me.
9-5: In “9-5″, Huey takes the cliché rapper mentality of not wanting to work a 9-5 job, and makes a great song out of it. We’ve heard songs of the same name from artists like Marc Goone and Logic, and just like the aforementioned rappers did, Huey killed his take on it. He sings a catchy hook, raps a few amazing verses that takes you on a visual journey through how he got where he is.
High Off Life (Feat. Paul Couture): “High Off Life” is a very fun, upbeat party track. Paul Couture is featured on the song, and adds in another element of a somewhat R&B feel. Huey drops a lot of clever punchlines in this one as well. The second to last song on Pretending Perfection leaves you laughing and feeling good.
Believe: It isn’t my favorite song on the album, but in my opinion “Believe” shows off Huey’s talents as a rapper more so than any other song he’s put out. Let me explain. He has plenty of other songs that I enjoy more, but “Believe” has a very soft, simple instrumental that a casual listener wouldn’t pay much attention to. That allows Huey’s voice to shine even more than it would on a normal song, and he takes full advantage of that opportunity. He tears apart his verses, and “Believe” is a perfect outro to Pretending Perfection (no pun intended).
I hope you enjoyed this review, and more importantly I hope you enjoy Pretending Perfection. Huey has been working on this project for a very long time, and that hard work is made evident in each and every song. If you’re on the fence about buying it, take my word for it and buy it. It’s by far the best work Huey Mack has ever released. Don’t illegally download this either; support good music and buy Huey Mack’s Pretending Perfection here!