Monday, 2 July 2007

The World Is Yours

After writing this blog, I only now just realised how difficult it is to give an opinion of your own about something. As Oscar Wilde said...

"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation"
After reading countless reviews and people posting their thoughts on a number of different albums, it's incredible the albums that the majority of people like, and dislike. It is increasingly difficult to interpret somebody's opinion as their own, or something that they've just read, and found it to sound so convincing, that they just simply repeat it when said topic is talked about amongst peers. It seems that if a small number of influential people agree on the quality of a particular album, the majority will simply become parrots and echo these thoughts.

Obviously, there are times when the majority of people are right. For example, Nas's 'Ilmatic' deservedly appears on more than 90% of listener's all-time Top Ten albums, as it is acclaimed by both hip hop journalists and first time listeners. But if you don't happen to like it, you don't have to feel as if you're missing something, and make excuses for liking it. It is critical that an album does something for YOU, and then base a review of that album on your personal feelings while listening to it. If you hate it, you hate it.

It is a very rare thing for someone to express something about an album that hasn't already been said, but also makes sense at the same time. This is what every reviewer aims to do, and hopefully I can add something to the albums that I post on this site, which you haven't already read elsewhere. I love reading other people's reviews of albums before I actually give it a listen. Why? Well just to see how others people's thoughts differ to mine when I actually give it a spin.

Lastly, don't trust my reviews anyway. The best way to review an album is to actually listen to it! So go download, and make your own opinions.

Edan - Beauty And The Beat

First off, that cover has got to be one of my favourite covers ever, the psychadelic feel is just awesome.
Edan hails from Boston, and is a rare thing in hip hop nowadays. He's an MC, DJ, and producer, the triple threat. 'Beauty And The Beat' represents his second full length LP, following the largely over-looked but equally good 'Primitive Plus'. On first listen of this album, you will immediately notice that it does not conform to the standards of today's hip hop album. Drum machines, sequencers, looping samples? In 2005? I don't think so.
If you have previously heard 'Primitive Plus', you probably already know that Edan knows his history, and respects his elders (on 'Ultra '88', he pays tribute to the Ultramagnetic MC's, and constantly pays tribute to Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One, etc throughout the record). This trend continues on 'Beauty And The Beat', with my favourite track, 'Fumbling Over Words That Rhyme', consisting over a roll-call on the who's who of hip hop, over a straight trippy sample.
The lead single from this album is 'I See Colours', in which Edan almost instantly states, "Prince Paul already used this loop...", again paying his dues. Edan uses the sample from the popular nursury rhyme of the same name, and slows down his flow, to make you feel like a kid all over again.
The general mood while listening to this album is one of nostalgia. Edan's voice takes you back to a time when hip hop was raw and relentless. He literally spits his lyrics, as heard in 'Promised Land', and uses the drum and sequencers precisely to create a eerie and delusional atmosphere. Features are at a minimum, with Percee P, Insight and Mr. Lif dropping by to contribute some verses.
But at the end of the day, this is Edan's album. A testament to the old school.


SniperInTheMist said...

I love this album, Edan is easily one of the best producer/rappers out and he keeps it strictly old school.

Kazeiro said...

You made me feel stupid.... how haven't I posted this on my place yet?

Amazing album but I rarely see writing about it on blogs or forums.

And also good point on the opinion thing, 'Ilmatic' is a great example considering I have seen a lot of Illmatic-haters, and even more Illmatic-haters haters