His upward spiral accelerated with the platinum single "One Night," assists on the Top Five pop hits "Broccoli" and "iSpy," and widespread exposure through a prominent television ad, Lil Yachty goes all out with his first proper album. Much of Teenage Emotions contains the gleefully slapdash spirit that characterized the preceding EPs and commercial mixtapes, but there are -- for better and worse -- signs that the rapper might evade binary characterization as a delightful reveler or one-dimensional prankster. In some instances, Yachty puts forth as much effort as a fan who has been asked to explain the appeal of a primarily lackadaisical rapper who isn't into throat clearing or connecting coherent thoughts. The longest reaches occur on "Bring It Back," where a modulated, forlorn Yachty fronts what resembles a mid-'80s synth pop demo, and on "Better," a shot at optimistic tropical pop better left to Wyclef Jean. There's also a handful of pop ballads that are open-hearted and charmingly clumsy with lines like "Do you not want to be what we once talked about?" and "If I break your heart, then I'm a dumb dude." For all the stylistic broadening that occurs here, and all the positive chatter of Yachty the inclusive iconoclast elsewhere, the recurrent use of familiar derogatory terms, phrases, and similes regarding womanizing and all-around superiority is to the contrary. The album's 70-minute length allows enough space for a bounty of mostly nondescript trap productions that support these simplistic boasts. In these tracks, Yachty sounds like he's going through a phase more than refining his individualism. Maybe he deserves a little slack for the lack of focus and gross immaturity. This is, after all, only his first album, and he's still a teenager -- one his mother calls "the best thing that's ever happened to me," one who's not too proud to finish a verse of combative posturing with "You stinky and dirty like farts."
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman