‘Never Land II’ is the highly anticipated fourth studio release from Andy Mineo. The album’s title references his 2014 EP 'Never Land’. Both installments reference the epic 1990’s tale ‘Hook,’ in which Peter Pan (Robin Williams) must battle to recover his childlike sense of imagination to save his family.
For Mineo, the film’s story parallels his own journey of life, faith, art and the tension between growing older and fighting to stay young and heart. For many, Neverland represents a place you never have to grow up. For Mineo, finding Neverland is about protecting his own childlikeness and purity of heart, as well as the willingness to be vulnerable, honest, and ask questions.
Listeners are invited to join Mineo on his quest to “never grow up”. Listeners will enjoy his inventive records that are wholesome, cheeky, and artistically excellent. For longtime Mineo fans, the album aims to display the resolution of his internal conflict surrounding faith, art, and the process of maturity.
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Been About It (feat. Lecrae)
You Know the Drill (feat. Wordsplayed)
Working On It (feat. Chandler Moore & Taylor Hill)
Child-Like Faith All Grown Up| Posted September 30, 2021 What You Need To Know: Seven years (2014) after the original Never LandEP was released and a week delayed from the original drop date, fans are finally blessed with art from Reach Records / Miner League’s Andy Mineo in the form of a full-length album. Never Land II is a concept album inspired by the 1991 Steven Spielberg-directed film Hook. The movie’s storyline runs parallel with Mineo’s journey of life, faith, and art while exposing his internal struggle to protect a child-like sense of imagination and adventure while growing older. The album is a place of re-discovery for Mineo as he reclaims childhood memories hoping listeners do the same.
Never Land II’s feature list gathers a few long-time friends (Lecrae, Wordsplayed, Joseph Solomon) while engaging some artistic gems (Chandler Moore, JVKE, Ink) to join in the musical adventure. Also, the album is narrated by Mineo’s mother, Fran Mineo. In 2018, she passed away after a battle with Leukemia. He discovered some unused material leftover from Saturday Morning Car-Tunez, Season 3 (2015) retooled to fit the narration piece. The project contains some of the most vulnerable and transparent content Mineo’s released to date proving to nearly guarantee an instant connection to fans and their own faith walk with Christ.
What it Sounds Like: Bridging over from the 2018 two-pack of EPs titled, the Arrow and the Sword, Never Land II is a continuation of that transparent internal display Mineo captures through intense emotion, personal struggles, and artistic expression lyrically as well as sonically. He welcomes his fanbase into his own thought process and trials of the heart navigating through a pandemic, daily life, and the trials created throughout daily situations. The first impression of sound listeners acquire will be echoes of Mineo’s heart poured into every bar.
Mineo is not only a superb songwriter, but a killer producer who assisted with production on four tracks and solely produced “Not Gon’ Do” featuring Joseph Solomon. This track happens to be one of my favorites as I love how Mineo chopped up Solomon’s vocals and inserted them into his own rhyme schemes. It’s a mixture of personal truths and Mineo’s stance on various life situations.
To be honest, the creative affirmations kick off from the first two introduction tracks and follow throughout. Listeners are treated to innovation from start to finish. Another standout track is “Nobody’s Coming” as we find Mineo harmonizing melodies while exposing vulnerable statements line for line, some of his deepest expressions to date. The simplicity of riding the melodies with production stripped to solely an acoustic guitar adds to the overall beauty.
For “Working On It” featuring Chandler Moore, Mineo’s creative juices are magnified and exemplified ten times over as he brings a different vibe and flavor to the track. It’s always a creative risk to step outside typical rapping over trap beats for an entire record. This risk pays off several times over. It’s different, unique and one of the stars of the project. The plethora of sound included forces fans onto their feet to erratically move to the infectious compilation of ear candy.
I could talk endlessly about each track as I love all of them for particular qualities, but just do yourself a favor and run this album all the way through countless times.
Spiritual Highlights: This album is an explosion of emotional deconstruction while Mineo wrestles through faith, maturity, retaining child-like tendencies and adventures combined with artistic expression. Never Land represents a safe space reserved for self-expression, vulnerability, honesty, and the ability to question everything. It encapsulates the child-like wonder of youth with a vision free of judgment, condemnation, hypocrisy, and boundaries. Imagination at its finest.
Mineo correlates what faith should be in comparison to what Never Land represents as opposed to all that is dysfunctional with Christian believers. In theory, Christ-followers are to mirror Jesus. His purity. His endless love. His attention to the beauty which surrounds us in God’s Creation. His empathy for the entire human race. Never Land, to me, is a piece of what heaven has been described as.
Listeners are not going to get 101 references to the bible, the trinity, or theology. That’s reserved for teachings from your local pastor in the eyes of Mineo (and rightfully so). What fans will receive is uncensored truth about day-to-day life and how a man of faith navigates daily noise as a believer. Its lyrics are dominated by real-life applications. The wholesome approach to the trials and tribulations faced as Christians possesses a prominent place within art too.
Best Song on the Record: Personally, I must agree with Mineo’s own declaration of his favorite from the project. “Trying” contains examples of his best songwriting in the past decade laced with levels of vulnerability rarely communicated anymore. The essence of the record is a million things we exhaust ourselves trying to accomplish. From the inclusion of a Son Lux sample to the acapella-like feel of Mineo’s delivery is exceptional. Run this track back a few times to capture the witty wordplay and brilliant cadence articulated. He bounces between the motions of any given day to passions and inner thoughts as well as goals and aspirations. Anymore, it’s far less often a record renders me speechless. This is one of those moments.
Final Word: Never Land II conjures a multitude of relatable material, expressed through precise delivery connected from the innermost depth of Mineo’s heart. His continuous creative grind for the last decade pays off in massive dividends as this album ranks amongst his best. Mineo puts on his visionary hat with this one overseeing every little detail. As close as Mineo was with his mother Fran, the tribute of her narration contribution is not only fitting but a perfect compliment to Mineo’s ingenious creation. Never Land II doesn’t contain a skippable track, as each has lasting appeal and value regardless of the audience.
Best Release from Andy Mineo since "Uncomfortable" | Posted October 10, 2021
Andy Mineo, who has also released a number of EPs, returns with his fourth full-length album, and first album of all-new material since 2017’s Andy Mineo and Wordsplayed Present Magic & Bird. It is a follow-up to 2014’s Never Land EP, which featured the gold record “You Can’t Stop Me”. The album includes brief narration from Mineo’s mother Fran, who died in 2018. The album features honest and transparent lyrics, excellent beats and collaborations. Themes on the album include relationships (with people and God), things he’s not going to do and things he’s trying to do, that life is hard but it could be worse, and priorities. It’s my favorite release of Mineo’s since 2015’s Uncomfortable.
Below are a few comments about each song: Am I… - This song was written by Mineo, Hadar Adora, GAWVI, James Douglas and BEAM. It was produced by GAWVI and BEAM. The song features guitar and backing vocals as he makes references to some of his previous releases.
Key lyric: The key is to find beauty inside of the tragedy …Falling? - This song was written by Mineo, Hadar Adora, GAWVI, James Douglas and BEAM. It was produced by GAWVI and BEAM. The song features bass, percussion and backing vocals. He asks whether he’s falling from the sky, or falling in God’s hand. Is it a disguise or is it in God’s plan?
Key lyric: And my pronoun is just “that guy” Been About It – This song was written by Mineo, Lecrae, SAK PASE and NOT KLYDE. It was produced by Mineo and SAK PASE and features Lecrae. The song features bass and percussion.
Key lyric: How you never had COVID, you still got no taste? You Know the Drill – This song was written by Mineo, Enzo Gran, Juice Bangers, Delgis Mustafa, and Wordsplayed. It was produced by Gran and Bangers, and features Wordsplayed, who reunites with Mineo from their 2017 album Andy Mineo and Wordsplayed Present Magic & Bird. The song features a heavy bass beat, percussion. They make several pop culture references and hint that they will drop a second volume of Magic & Bird with no prior announcement.
Key lyric: God made me, I'm a one of one Working On It – This song was written by Mineo, Rickie Tice, Alex Goose, Kaydence, Taylor Hill and Chandler Moore. It was produced by Alex Goose and Taylor Hill and features Moore and Hill. The song features a heavy bass beat, percussion, and backing vocals. The song is about working on things in our relationships.
Key lyric: At least you know I'm always inconsistent Nobody’s Coming - This song was written by Mineo, Lonestarmuzik, Noah NorTH, S1, Jameil Aossey, and Hulvey. It was produced by Aossey, NorTH, Lonestarmuzik and S1. The song features guitar, bass, percussion, and an emotional vocal from Mineo.
Key lyric: What if we're the ones that we're waiting on? Remind Me – This song was written by Mineo, Zac Lawson and JVKE. It was produced by JVKE and Lawson and features JVKE. The song features guitar, bass and percussion. The song is about problems in a relationship.
Key lyric: Sometimes I forget your love Forget your touch
Yeah, you got, you got, you gotta remind me Not Gon’ Do – This song was written by Mineo, Joseph Solomon, Taylor Hill, Britton Rauscher, Conor Back and Aayana Smith. It was produced by Mineo and Hill, and features Solomon. The song features keys, bass, percussion and backing vocals. He talks about all the things he’s not going to do.
Key lyric: I won't apologize for being who I am It Could Be Worse – This song was written by Mineo and A.G. It was produced by A.G. The song features keys, bass and percussion.
Life is hard, he thanks God, because it could be worse.
Key lyric: Look at what happened to Cosby, man Look at what happened to Ravi, damn Now trying to make sure that it’s not me man Priorities – This song was written by Mineo, BigBreeze, Hulvey, Zac Lawson and JVKE. It was produced by JVKE and Lawson and features BigBreeze. The song features a heavy bass beat. Key lyric: I need God in my life, yeah 'Cause we don't be talking enough
I give a call when I'm stuck
Not when I'm all the way up
I think He calling my bluff
I said I don't got no time for him
We make the time for the things that we love
You tell me what are your priorities Trying – This song was written by Mineo, Ryan Lott, Dave James and Thad Cockrell. It was produced by Mineo and James. This song has Mineo talking and rapping over bass, guitar, keys and percussion as the song builds. He addresses a number of different areas in his life in which he is trying.
Key lyric: All my life all I ever did was try Cross My Heart – This song was written by Mineo, Dizzycleanface, James Reese, Justin Peroff, Keith “Baby Wonder”, Duplessis, Dave Hamelin, Ink and ALDAE. It was produced by Hamelin, Dizzycleanface, Ace Harris and Soul Surplus, and features Ink. The song features drums, guitar and keys.
Key lyric: What if we didn't panic but instead we took advantage Of the time that we got right now Coming in Hot – This song was written by Mineo, Lecrae, Wordsplayed, SAK PASE, Marlon Montgomery, Brian Taylor, Ace Harris and Beleaf. It was produced by SAK PASE and features Lecrae. The song was originally released on Reach Records Summer Eighteen, and was recently certified gold. The song features bass, percussion,
Key lyric: First, nobody wanna listen Now, everybody pay attention
Now, everybody pay a fee Best songs:
Working On It
It Could Be Worse
Coming in Hot