Over the course of a debut album and a slew of EP releases, Gustav Åhr, better known as Lil Peep, made the kind of music that was a place for refuge and meditation. In the process, he amassed a cult-like following. He teetered on the edge of stardom, poised to take over the world. That is, until he overdosed on a lethal combination of Xanax and Fentanyl.
His posthumous second album, ‘Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 2’, has been in the works for over a year. Along with Åhr’s mother, Liza Womack, Peep’s close friend and producer Smokeasac created the album – and it’s an intimate rough-around-the-edges journey.
‘Come Over When You’re Sober Pt.2’ barely features any guests. It has no sorrowful tributes. In its nearly 45-minute run-time, it evokes feelings of alienation, of loneliness, of feeling like you’re never good enough. The sombre project is blistered and broken in all the right ways. Peep’s legacy of making music that has no purpose other than making itself felt is the glue that holds this sprawling 13-track album together.
Around small, rough guitar riffs that are reminiscent of Nirvana, Peep croons. The sound he became known for – soulful, drawling melodies that wash over you – is bigger, more anthemic on the album. Painful lyrics are soaked in reverb and heavily filtered. Lines like “Is anybody out there? / Can anybody hear me?” on the heart-breaking ’16 Lines’ showcase Peep’s self-awareness, his singing like a lonely raft lost in a sea of lost voices. His fans, equally as lost, grasping every word.
Peep’s transparent depiction of his struggles is singular. His hordes of fans allowed him to speak about his pain so that they could relate. His portrayal of his pain made theirs easier. This plainspokenness is the centre-point of his oeuvre. It epitomised what he did and comes through again on ‘Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 2’.
The album evokes snapshots of nostalgic memories. A high-water mark in Peep’s work, it reminds listeners of the talent Gustav Åhr possessed and how we were deprived of it all too early. His legacy, the uncanny ability to relate to an entire generation can be boiled down to two lines on the track ‘Life is Beautiful’: “And if you ever need a friend then you got me / And in the end, when I die, would you watch me?”