Someone, somewhere, for some reason upset the apple cart and changed the music release schedule so that new music comes out on Fridays now. I can’t get used to that, but as I was poking around Spotify yesterday, I saw a familiar name and felt compelled to give it a listen and took the opportunity to force myself to write again. I need to do that more often anyway. So, below is that result. Enjoy.

K-OS – Can’t Fly Without Gravity

A long time ago, I heard a song called “Sunday Morning” by k-os (knowledge of self) that caught my ear and seemed like the next song of the summer, following on the heals of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”. Turns out, it didn’t gain that much traction, but I had discovered a new artist and really enjoyed his albums, ATLANTIS and JOYFUL REBELLION. Hadn’t heard from him in a while, but here he is again, this time with capital letters. Let’s check it out:

Snapback…Sounds like he’s intentionally too close to the microphone, maybe a live feel, just an intro track, barely over a minute… Intrigue is high… the fourth Fugee… that’s funny. WiLD4TheNight (EgoLand)…heavy synth bass to start off the track, sets an ominous tone. Rapping double time, still a bit of static to the vocal, as if he’s pretending to be somehow removed from the track, above rap or a willing observer and unfortunate participant… and there’s an F-bomb… for no reason… Dance In Yo Car… I like the soundtrack of this one… it moves nicely and he’s laying back on it but you know if he does rap on it, it will be fast and furious… “used to believe in the man in the sky, now we believe in a plan in our eye, besides, if we even tried to pray, who would be listening anyway?”… definitely dealing with a crisis of faith on this track… Hussle & Flow… I’m not really digging this one… it’s a bouncy beat, but it’s kind of annoying and it’s about taking out all the wack emcees… meh… Get Up… this is a chaotic (K-OS-tic?) track… a lot of moving parts here, overwhelming and distracting from the lyrics… this is like the third one though that mentions people copying his styles and stuff though… I feel like I’m listening to Timbaland complaining… “we all fall down, but it’s up to us to get up”… Crucify… this is a well-layered track, lots of interesting samples… some old-timey singing, some Leaders of the New School, nas… it’s not bad… so far I’m pretty disappointed…

Midway through the album… Not off to the best start… Vous Deux (Denzel Washington)… both of you… something about money… I like the track though…

Boyz II Men – this one has a lot of guests and an explicit tag… it sounds like a Sunz of Man or Wu-Tang track construction… probably the best straight hip hop beat opened up for a cypher of Canadian’s finest? with samples from Whitney Houston’s Always Love You… okay… Rap Zealot… this is just an interlude… flipped up snake charmer rhythm with a thump of bass and a taste of spitting… Spaceship… like a spaceship from the sky… as opposed to… where?… this has the feel of a Joey the Jerk track… and I’m taken away for a brief moment… anyway, this is my favorite song on the album so far… immediately… this is the kind of song construct that drew me into K-OS way back when.. it’s a little off center, but you know where it’s coming from… oh, nice breakdown here at the end… Turn Me Loose… if you’ve missed it up to this point, K-OS believes if “God” exists, she’s a black woman… I do like the feel of this track, sounds a bit like a coffeehouse band just jamming away and letting things go where ever they may… it’s enjoyable enough… Steel Sharpens Steel (Still In Love)… heavy tempo pumping and driving here… gets your heart pumping and I’m actually on the edge of my seat… so, it’s impossible to not think about iron sharpens iron, wonder about the significance of the switch to steel… is there anything to it? is there anything to that in light of the parenthetical “still in love”? lots to think about… but this album is definitely finishing much stronger than it started… Another Shot – A.S.… to close out the album, we’re looking at a nicely stripped down track… almost a BEP feel to the track at times… but it’s nicely put together like a story… it plays like montage footage in a movie almost… anyway, this does close the album, so I need to close this commentary as well… the album ends on a high note, but I don’t think the final four tracks completely resurrects the entire album… probably won’t revisit it much… too bad…

Well, that’s that. At least I have earlier albums to fall back on.

peace… love… bdg…