Reviewed by Matt O @BoardinOgilvie
When Witt Lowry announced that he was dropping his debut album, Dreaming With Our Eyes Open, I nearly cried with excitement. I've been following him since he dropped his mixtape, Kindest Regards, last year and posted nearly every song since. Between the release of his mixtape and his album, Witt released some of my favorite tracks which include "Like I Do" and "Used to You." Witt Lowry is one of the most passionate artists I've heard in a long time. You can hear it in every song's lyrics and delivery. Every song tells a story so I was excited to see what he could do with an entire album. Hailing from Connecticut, quitting his dream job to pursue music, working closely with only a few people, and putting one years worth of work into 43 minutes makes Witt one of the most committed upcoming rappers in the industry. His extremely loyal following proves that. On September 25, 2015 Witt Lowry released his debut album Dreaming With Our Eyes Open so I of course had to listen to it 20 times before I wrote this review.
Witt starts the album with the title track "Dreaming With Our Eyes Open" and it's the perfect start. A piano comes in slow and starts to build with his verse. He immediately begins to spill his heart and talk about how much he cares about the people around him and society in general. There isn't a hook on the track and there doesn't need to be. Artists shouldn't follow trends and that's something Witt has always done. My favorite lyrics are
"Don't care about the money I spend on my coffin / I care about the people attending and often were lost / lost in this world / was selfish to think I could find happiness in a girl / was selfish to think were elite we destroy and deplete our whole planet no smarter than squirrels / so who wants to talk about that / who wants to facts / maybe I would be in your mag if I add a tee-chee or bap bap or I talked about weed when I rap / but fu*k all of that / the voice of the youth / the voice of the people the real and the truth / the voice of the one who had nothing to lose / I speak for a heart that has been broken and beaten and bruised."
Let's get to the second track. Witt begins "Ladders" with aggressive bars over a fast beat. He explains how he is an independent artist and is the future of rap through his first verse. Most independent rappers go through the same steps as Witt; being poor, quitting their job, and the struggles with life. Not as deep lyrics as the first track but Witt comes hard regardless. Witt features fellow Connecticut artist and friend, Trippz Michaud, on the next track. Witt comes with the first verse on "My Mistake" then Trippz comes in on the chorus and next verse. Both artists prove that they can rap very well. Witt comes back in the third verse and says a line about his perception only rapping about girls. He basically makes a statement saying he raps about more than just girls, which he does. I would know. I have listened to every one of his tracks on SoundCloud more than once.
Witt Lowry slows it down with "Wonder If You Wonder" and so does the beat. His main producer, Dan Haynes produced most of the tracks on the album which makes sense because he has been working with Witt for years. I can't even begin to explain how talented Dan is. Witt tells a story of a girl that he wrote a song about. It sounds like he was in love with this girl but couldn't make it work. He wonders if the girl ever did care about him and what their future what would have been like. This track to me is classic Witt; passionate, meaningful lyrics. Witt continues to go hard on "Tried to Be Nice" and includes a few different voices. If you are ever mad at a girl, throw on this song and you will feel better. He brings it back to reality in the last verse talking about his girl cheating on him and his alcoholic father. He also mentions he doesn't like being compared to other artists so we won't go there.
Witt Lowry continues to talk about his family in "Silicone Kingdom." Witt has been through some stuff in his life so far which he describes throughout the track. He gets personal in the second verse but switches the topic to his ex girlfriend. This is the longest track on Dreaming With Our Eyes Open and will fills it with personal, passionate lyrics; a common theme in his music. "Tourist" is next and Witt tells a story about a girl who he loved but moved to Europe. He talks about the memories they could've had, how much he likes her, and love at first site. It's always hard to watch a girl go so Witt spills out his feelings through his lyrics. The track ends with a voicemail of this girl saying she loves him. Witt continues his 'Piece of Mind' series with the next track and it might be the hardest track on the album. In part three of the series, Witt attacks a few celebrities and talks about the music industry, being bullied, negative effects of social media, and more. There isn't a hook so Witt gives you three and a half minutes of straight bars. He seems to use this track to get a few things off his chest; a piece of his mind.
"So Many Nights" features Devvon Terrell, a talented R&B artist from Brooklyn, New York. Devvon doesn't spit a verse but he makes the song beautiful with the hook. I like that Witt talks about real shit in every song. One of my favorite lines in this track is "Your passion will set you free" because it's true. He also talks about his drive to make it to the top and how confident he is that he will. Witt showcases his rhyming ability in "Running from Here." He raps about things he wants to see and wanting to be something. Witt thinks there is more to life than getting drunk and chasing girls and I have to agree. I really respect Witt as an artist for this reason. He doesn't want the fame for money or parties. He wants to use his popularity to change people's lives. The last track on Dreaming With Our Eyes Open is "Coupons" and Witt ends with yet another passionate track. Although the beat is uplifting, his lyrics are deep. He talks about his struggles growing up, working two jobs, and staying independent. This is a great end to a fantastic album.
Overall, I am incredibly impressed by Witt Lowry's first official album. When the pre-order went live, Witt made it to the top 10 of the iTunes Hip-Hop chart which proves that he has a loyal and every-growing fan base. I definitely contributed to that by blogging and telling my friends. Witt's strengths lie in his passionate lyrics and storytelling. The only weakness (I think) are his hooks. I think that because the two artists he features sing the hooks and he has a few tracks without hooks. Keep in mind this is my personal opinion. Witt Lowry is a true independent artist so support him by buying Dreaming With Our Eyes Open on iTunes.