What Could Possibly Go Wrong lasts for a mere thirty-four minutes across fourteen tracks, but during that time Dominic Fike bounds through a contortion of genres, experimental production, impressive artistic ability, and honest writing capability. Getting just about everything right.
The Florida born musician is no amateur to the spotlight despite this being his debut. His EP, Don’t Forget About Me, Demos, dropped in 2018, and included ‘3 Nights’ which was in the top ten of the UK charts for eleven weeks. He has also already had the backing of Billie Eilish and Brockhampton, especially Kevin Abstract who directed a candid interview with Fike called IN-FOCUS, where he discusses his anxiety and the process of writing music from prison. “I called my producer one day and I banged on my sink and asked him what note it was,” Fike explained.
Despite these hurdles, Fike’s debut album features a huge spectrum of sounds and genres. The electrifying ‘Come Here’ starts the album with rock sensibilities which set up a powerful introduction, with its screeching guitar strings and accompanying muffled vocals.
Swiftly switching up genres, ‘Double Negative (Skeleton Milkshake)’ features a summery rhythm and sounds like something from an American indie record. ‘Why’ continues this comparison with melodic lyrics and a rolling beat. These are the kind of tracks which would have blown up on Tumblr in 2012.
This is also the case for the monumental first single from the album ‘Chicken Tenders’. The frivolous subject matter of the lyrics paired with the vibrant beat, and infections hook, make for a radio-friendly highlight.
“I hope they cancel me. Why? So I can go be with my family,” Fike explains in ‘Cancel Me’, tackling cancel-culture and digital disillusion. The lo-fi, hip-hop track circulates his thoughts of the indulgent lifestyle of LA, and the alienation he feels in the city where he now resides.
This vulnerability and emotional clarity are evident in most of the tracks. On ‘Joe Blazey’, the track is interrupted half way through as Fike explains he “was literally having a panic attack”, before the track sonically blends into a more aggressive sound.
This switching of sounds happens frequently as well, ‘Politics & Violence’ features stylistic production, synth chords, and layered vocals but then includes a complete change of atmosphere when the perfected, smooth rap of his thoughts takes the forefront.
This versatility in mixing energies and genres is most evident on ‘Vampire’. “I only showed up to tell you, Everyone at this party’s a vampire, This aint red wine,” he announces. The track has a hip-hop core but switches from moody nostalgia to a guitar rock energy.
On the closing track ‘Florida’, Fike demonstrates his songwriting ability. The track which was co-written with producer Kenny Beats fades out early leaving you with remnants of eclectic noises and a time to pause and reflect on the album as a whole.
The short tracks vary dramatically across this album but together fuse as an exquisite confession of a prodigy. Dominic Fike does not want to confine himself into one delegated space and What Could Possibly Go Wrong reflects that perfectly.