Album Review: Big Sean 'Bounces Back' with Strong Fourth Album, "I Decided"

(G.O.O.D Music / Def Jam Recordings)

Big Sean’s 4th album, I Decided was Friday. The album cover has two men standing parallel to one another, solidifying the idea that remains throughout the album showing his old self and who he is now. The album features an intro and 13 songs that boast a collection of raps and classic hip-hop vibes.

Check out our track-by-track run through below:

"The intro" brings in an older man talking about his life, and tells a wisdom and experience to a younger demographic.

"The Light" sends the message that nothing can stop what’s inside you, and the light that inspires oneself comes from one's core. The harmonic and uplifting vibes come through to stimulate and motivate.

"Bounce Back" gives off the vibe of the unwavering persona that Big Sean encompasses and takes the skill of recovering and turns it into a fresh radio hit. The verses put across the skill and expertise of fusing the rap with a catchy energy.

"No Favors" brings in esteemed rapper, Eminem, who joins Big Sean on the song. The dynamic between him and Sean plays throughout. His laid back verses seem to contrast nicely with Eminem’s mile a minute and belligerent words. The song personifies the idea of getting to where a person is without a helping hand.

"Jump Out The Window" is a chill song, that provides a laid-back vibe. The song is about a guy who can’t seem to get a girl, so he’s ready to move on.

“Moves" is another radio friendly single as it explores all that Big Sean has to offer. From his progress in the industry, to what a female presence has to offer, is all discussed in the song.

"Timing is everything," and it shows in Big Sean’s “Same Time Pt.1” which takes listeners on a tour of two people that unite over and over again. The track also features Jhene Aiko of Twenty88, the duo Sean belongs to with Jhene. 

"Owe Me," the piano led song tells the story of a girl that was involved with the rapper, who didn’t fulfill all that he wanted, and who is now trying to reenter his life. The relationship seems to be volatile, and plays into the back and forth feeling of the lyrics and rhythm. The song gets put on hold at the end by a paparazzi reporter who seems to be trying to figure out what the relationship is between the two people.

"Halfway off the Balcony" makes as a smooth melody of beats and verses. The intense track, covers and talks about the challenges of being an artist in this day and age. It explores themes like the temptation of being in artificial relationships over platonic ones, upholding the image that parents have in their minds, and keeping a stable mind in the music industry. The song ends with a voice ignoring the call from his mother, because he is too busy.

"Voices In My Head/ Stick To The Plan” showcases Big Sean going on about the various speakers in his brain, that tell him various distractions and thoughts on actions he has done or is going to do. The song covers a mental overload and it translates to a relatable and comprehensive exploration of the mental psyche.

The song “Sunday Morning Jetpack,” is a feel good tune that shows how grateful Big Sean is. He recalls old memories, chanting about the nostalgia and how it has stuck with him.

Big Sean talks about his extremely impactful mother in “Inspire Me.” The ‘son-to-mother’ song shows a real authenticity and almost seems like the listener is hearing a beautiful letter of love and appreciation to his mother.

“Inspiration” features acclaimed rap group Migos, including heated production and heated verses that talk about all the forfeits the artists have made to make this music.

The last song on the album, “Bigger Than Me” featuring The Flint Chosen Choir & Starrah, is a personal favorite. The soulful performance puts forward a realization theme of everything being left up to a larger force. The choir and Starrah round out the song and deliver powerful and pleasurable sound. The song’s ending features a voice recording from a cellphone talk with Big Sean and his mom, relating and appreciating one another.

I Decided is a strong contender for one of the best projects the Detroit-rapper has released. On each track, Big Sean proves he is not to be reckoned with. Leading the album with the previous release of singles “Bounce Back” and “Moves,” the bar was set high, and it does in fact live up to the expectations. 

Big Sean is hitting the road this Spring! See tour dates below: