Take heed! The collaboration we’ve all been chomping at the bit for has finally willed its way into existence – the ever-illusory 15 year-old, Willow Smith, and everyone’s favorite perpetual teenager, Michael Cera, have teamed up to create the most unforeseen collaboration of 2016 to date.
“Twentyfortyeight 2.0” marks yet another surprise musical release from Cera, who once moonlighted as Mister Heavenly's bassist, while marking the Superbad actor’s first “celebrity” collaboration. The track features the youngest Smith expending that familiar Smith progeny egotism, as the 15 year-old opens the track speaking aimlessly about “a yellowish hue” which she goes on to describe as "kind of nebulous." In typical teenage fashion, Smith appears to over-exert herself when trying to imaginatively masque her lack of world experience with bushy tailed sentiments of “being all that is” and “it feels like it's trying to tell me something” mixed with 420 tropes of “is it true that we really are?” It appears as though Willow has been spending far too much time in the whimsical company of her older brother, Jaden.
All of Willow’s aimless opining aside, the song actually isn’t “bad.” There’s a wandering innocence to Willow’s empty lyrics that almost elicits a state of wonder – whether aided by psychotropic substances or not – that endears the listener to Willow’s rambling state. The best part of the track is Cera’s production, which feels like its been ripped directly from a Juno or Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist outtake. In more recent pop culture lore, “Twentyfortyeight 2.0” sounds like a spiritual companion to M83’s “Raconte Moi une histore” from the band’s 2011 Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.
The wandering video-game synth arpeggios sweeten an already saccharine song that allows the listener to distract themselves when Smith reaches the end of the track talking about societal struggle – “We’ve manufactured the society the runs on the backs of those with truth for them to victimize” – but instead of rolling your eyes, feel free to lose yourself in a wonderful wandering menagerie of stream of consciousness musing, echoing harmony hums, and lullaby beat production.