Sespool – (This Love Is) Eternal

Two facts become clear after listening to the album “(This Love Is) Eternal.” Sean E (aka Sespool) is a very talented young man. He is also very complicated.

The record is a concept album which travels backward in time across the landscape of a failed relationship. It is a brave, honest, and sometimes difficult journey. Over the course of ten songs the artist alternates between two different, and often opposing, personas.

Greek Tragedy

The first character we meet is the rapper. He is pissed off, vulgar, and vengeful. He makes bad choices and deals with his problems in an unhealthy and self destructive manner. In the lead-off track, “Love Was a Drug,” he greets us with hardcore beats, a barrage of F-Bombs, and lines like “I pop a pill to cop a feel of what was yesterday.”

About one minute into the song, we meet the singer. He is remorseful and longing. As the record proceeds he plays the role of the chorus in a Greek tragedy, giving us an insight into the angry rapper’s true state of mind. The juxtaposition of the two characters is an effective storytelling tool.

The Songs

It is unsettling to follow Sean into some dark places. Sometimes it is grief, as when the singer laments, “where do you go, when all that you know, is someone that died so long ago?” on “Pretty Good Friends”.

The rapper finds his escape in drugs and self obsession. In the track “Overcome” he barks, “fuck food… Imma buy drugs, and after that, shit Imma fall in love with myself, just to see what it does to my health.”

All ten tracks on the record are short, most under three minutes. The arrangement works well to create the feeling that these are all variations on a theme. From a production standpoint there are constants that flow through the album to create the same effect. 808 kick drums and tone generators drop huge bass sounds, and vocal recording effects are consistent throughout.

That does not mean these songs all sound the same. On the contrary, there are endless surprises. For instance, “The Choice” is an acoustic guitar based tune with a Latin-pop feel. And the second half of “See U Feel U” sounds like the dirty funk found on Prince’s “Black” album.

“Five Little Words” is a particularly intense track that feels like the soundtrack to a fight between two soon-to-be former lovers. Because, that is exactly what it is. Similarly, “Run Baby Run” and the title track chronicle the beginning of the end of the relationship.

By the time we get to the final cut, all of the vitriol is gone. In “Breathe Again,” gangster rap beats have been replaced by an acoustic guitar, airy synths, and even a flute. It is a touching love song. Ultimately, an album that started with rhymes of violence and spite ends up sounding like a Moody Blues record. However, there is no solace in this tranquility. We already know how the story ends.

A Bold Statement

“(This Love Is) Eternal” is a bold artistic statement from a talented young musician. It is not always an easy listen. At times you want to lend your hand to the protagonist and try to help. But this is a journey the artist must travel alone. From the end, to the beginning, and back again.


Sean E

Here what Sespool says about “(This Love Is) Eternal”…

“(this love is) eternal” is the alternative hip hop album by multi-instrumentalist singer/rapper Sean E. from San Francisco, CA. it’s an inverse love story that starts at the end and ends with the beginning drawing influence from Pink Floyd, Travis, Scott, Imogen Heap, and the bay area hip hop he grew up on.