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Reviews Written by
P. Albone "Noxy" (Bedfordshire UK)

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Liar & A Thief
Liar & A Thief

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 7 years too late, 25 May 2010
This review is from: Liar & A Thief (Audio CD)
Like most people I heard Diabolic vis the hidden track on Revolutionary Vol. 1. For me this was back in 2002 and I remember thinking "christ who's this guy?" I did some google searching and could only find a few poor video quality battles he's been in and no album. 8 years and some pretty nice mixtapes later Liar and a Thief drops and was it worth the wait? In short....... no.

Diabolic raps through the usual themes on this album violence, drugs and women and mixes it with paranoid, political conspiracy theories. The problem is that these subjects seem to spill out of every track and flood the next and so what your left with is an album lacking continuity.

To be fair to Diabolic he goes about the 'usual subjects' better than most with brilliant wordplay, flow and multisyllabic rhymes but I can't help but think he is better than all of this.

When Diabolic spits consciously he covers topics which now seem outdated and old hat. Back in 02 when Immortal Technique released Rev. 2 is sounded refreshing to hear post 9/11 political ramberlings through hip hop. 8 years on you can't help but think that what Diabolic is saying has already been said by other artists, books, films, websites and magazines.

the best songs on the album occur when Diabolic strays from the narrow path he has laid for himself. 'I dont wanna rhyme,' a track about the music industry and the underground is Diabolic at his best, sure other rappers harp on about the commercial aspects in the genre but their is something refreshing about the song. 'shots' is a funny song about drinking in a bar and on 'behind bars' Diabolic gets personal.

Their are guest spots on here, Immortal Technique has a strong verse with probably my favorite line off the album about diabetics (i wont spoil it by posting it) and everybody's favorite Catholic beater Vinny Paz has a particuularly strong verse. Cannibus however is horrible and ruins an otherwise great song. The track Riot is good enough until the heavily rock influenced hook, further evidence if you needed it that rock/rap hardly ever works.

If I was judging the album on lyrics I would of given it 4/5

Beats wise the album is handled by Engineer. I only found out about this guy from the Rhyme Asylum aalbum. On that album his beats are much stronger and are better than any on here. I wouldn't say their was a bad beat on the album but their isn't an amazing one either. Their is enough variation through the tunes, other than, in my opinion the drum programming. I love Boom Bap but this seems to get a bit monotonous.

Overall its the beats that make me get a little bored with this album. I think that some of Diabolics lyrics are out of date and have been done before. If this had been released a few years ago with a little more varied production it would have been a 5 star release.

Saying all that I would not deter anyone from buying this as this is only my opinion and I can imagine the new wave of hip hop fans loving it and giving Bolic somewhat cult status. My biggest grip would be that he could have prooduced something better with the talent he has.

Solitary Confinement [Explicit]
Solitary Confinement [Explicit]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 7 May 2010
Solitary Confinement is the second album from Rhyme Asylum and is even better than their first State of Lunacy.

Rhyme Asylum is made up of 3 rappers Possessed, Psiklone and Skirmish. Each can hold their own on the mic which is a good thing because they could easily outshine most artists out there. They encorperate clever wordplay with metaphors and vivid imagery. I've been listening to the album solid for two weeks now and it's still growing on me.

I'll list a few quotes to give you a gist of the clever lyracism on offer,

"rock your boat till your teeth abandon ship"
"got a poetic licence to kill, word is my bond"
"when the fists fly your face is the landing strip"

Some of the lyrics in the album went straight over my head and I was left thinking "that didn't make sense" and then whist playing the track over in my head I worked it out thats why the album delivers on so many levels. An example of this was the line "one time for your mind like the thought police."

This kind of wordplay has of course been done before by the likes of Celph Titled, Copywrite and Diabolic but if i'm honest Rhyme Asylum have taken it a few steps beyond next level. I only truly appreciated how good the album was when I put another album on and was left thinking how mediocre and flat it sounded. Ill Bill appears on the album and is a bit of a let down to be honest but it only shows him up because he gets outclassed by each member of RA.

Beat wise the album doesn't disappoint either and is an improvement on their previous album. The beats are often dark but that suits the general feel of the album. It's heavily east-coast boom bap influenced but still retaining an old school british feel.

Their is 18 tracks on the album, no intros, outro, skits or other stupid filler just pure, unadulterated hip-hop and for the price you can pick the album up for that is incredible value. Do yourself a favour and cop this.

recommended if you like, Celph Titled, Copywrite, Diabolic, Jedi Mind Tricks, The Dark Craftsmen, AOTP, Big L.

Grow Your Wings
Grow Your Wings
Offered by marxwax
Price: £16.73

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected, 12 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Grow Your Wings (Audio CD)
I got this album gave it a first listen and was a little taken aback because it wasn't what i expected. Original Sin is the king of the jump up so i was getting ready for a frantic on slaught of tunes like D for Danger, Cheater Cheater, Don't be silly etc etc. What you get instead is alot more mature than that.

Original Sin shows that he isn't afraid to change things up a bit and doesn't rest on his laurels. The first tune Therapy has been kicking around the net a while and been on rotation around the clubs and is typical OS, well orchestraed synth driven production.

Theirs alot of throw back tunes on here which sound very grass roots jungle especially Kiss. Where OS excels IMO is in his break downs and intros which are very well put together especially the intro to Dangerous.

Thats the pros now the lows. I find the tracks wear thin a little fast so if you take the album as a whole and your buying this to listen all the way through you may find yourself getting a little bored. If, however you are buying the vinyl or have CD decks then you may find that the album has better longevity as the tracks clearly work better in the mix. This is proven in the free mix Cd that comes with the album as it shows how well certain tunes can be manipulated to a DJ's advantage.

On the whole a good album but as a collection of songs it doesn't quite stand up with no real beginning middle or end.

worth a purchase anyway.

O.G. Bobby Johnson
O.G. Bobby Johnson
Price: £10.97

1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible, 9 Dec. 2009
This review is from: O.G. Bobby Johnson (Audio CD)
This album is straight up bad. Tame one is an underated rapper in my opinion his previous album and work in the Artifacts is beyond reproach.

What you have here is an album with very lazy lyics and immpossibly lazier beats. Tame One is usually witty and clever on this he sounds like he can't be bothered even going as far as rehashing lyrics from earlier songs he's done. God knows who he's got on production its straight up rubbish. The only track worth its salt is Toxic but that doesn't warrant buying the album for.

When I bought this I got it for 25p, no joke and even then i considered sending it back for a refund.

AVOID! you have been warned

Sub Focus
Sub Focus
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £13.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Focus Mode, 4 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Sub Focus (Audio CD)
As drum and bass goes im a bit of a purist, I dont really do in for all this dub step/breaks whilst im clubbing. If I want DnB then thats what i want. Although this album isn't quite 100% DnB I love every track. All tunes are well produced as you would expect from a label such as ram with high quality control. If you go to matter, fabric, herbal etc you will probably by now of heard the vast majority of tracks on here but that takes nothing away from it. This is a great album for fans of most forums of DnB and is what you'd expect from the guy that brought us, X Ray, Swamp Thing and Ghost.

Strange Journey #2
Strange Journey #2
Price: £16.19

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strangely average, 24 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Strange Journey #2 (Audio CD)
I bought this with high hopes. But after less than 2 weeks of not all together constant play i'm bored with it.

Deacon is ill as ever, the guest MC's do their part but their are far to many all trying to steal the limelight and somewhere along the way the album loses coherence. Kno's beats are average at best. A couple of the beats are dope namely still with me and the WWKYA tour remix but even these tire fairly quickly. Streets is a good track and beat seems tailor made for poison pen. Tear tracks is another good song but the content in it makes it hard to enjoy over as its far from exhilarating.

Some of my peers really like this album but for me it smells too much of beats that would normally end up on the editing room floor. For the proce on here its probably worth it esp as Deacon keeps to his always high standards.

so anyway I hope Pack FM doesnt read this and roll on the next proper Cunninlynguists album!

The High Exalted
The High Exalted

5.0 out of 5 stars silly yet clever, 20 Sept. 2009
This review is from: The High Exalted (Audio CD)
ignore the bottom review of this. Copywrite is a very inteligent rapper. his use of wordplay, metaphors and double entendres is brilliant. This kind of rap was first made famous by the great Big Daddy Kane and Copywrite is equal to him at it.

Yes Copywrite does boast alot and raps about sex but he is straight up funny. I've had this album for years and I can still put it on now and hear lyrics and think blimey I've never caught that before. The production levels are high also, this album came at a time when RJD2 was in his prime.

Its a top quality record, you could be forgiven for listening to June and thinking that Copywrite could have got a little deeper in his subject matter but take nothing away this an amazing album.

i hear that Copywrite has given up drink and drugs now so his new album out shortly should be one to watch.

Violent By Design
Violent By Design

5.0 out of 5 stars best produced hip hop able of all time?, 11 Sept. 2009
This review is from: Violent By Design (Audio CD)
I have been a fan of JMT for some time and thought i'd add my two penneth. I got this album many years ago and it just does not tire. The beats are amazing, dark and well layered. There are so many tracks on this album and only one i dont like which is Speech Cobras but I can imagine to someone else its their favorite song. Vinny P and Jus are aggresive and dont pull any punches with lines about gays and killing the pope etc etc. That aside this album is a classic in hip hop and will always stand the test of time.

No Shadow on your Sundial
No Shadow on your Sundial
Price: £5.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, Eerie and Haunting, 30 Aug. 2009
I bought this album randomly just to see what it was like and i'm bloody glad I did. The album is very dark without being horrorcore, its cleverer than that. The production level is simplistic and effective, its creepy in an evil dead kind of way. the MC's CBR and Tekneek are both skillful on the mic and combine complex flows with futuristic lyrics. Personaly I love the dark side of hip hop but rarely find anything to my liking this however is right up my street, thumping boom bap drums and violins it reminds me very much of Jedi Mind Tricks album The Psycho-Social and in some respects Dr Octagon. The only track that isn't dark on here is T2000 which sounds out of place but actually offers a bit of respite from proceedings and shows The Dark Craftsmen ability to be diverse. Its important to add that there is some nice turntablism on here too. Listen to the previews of the songs on here and you'll get a good enough idea of what its about. If you like JMT, Dead Residents, Eastborn, Anticon, Non Phixion, early UK stuff then give this a go.

Strange Journey Volume One
Strange Journey Volume One
Offered by nagiry
Price: £13.13

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A not so strange journey, 22 Aug. 2009
Ive been a fan of Cunninlynguists since Will Rap for Food and they have, in my opinion improved with every release. With this in mind I had such anticipation for this release so much so that at first it clouded my vision. before listening to the album I heard the brownie song back in Feb and when i listened through the album it remained the only song that I really liked. This was, looking back due to my high expectations. After I played the record a few times over I started to get a better feel for it. You have 3 remixs on here KKKY, Dance for me and georgia. I skip these every time. The dance for me remix has a different beat from the original and is border line cheese. KKKY and Georgia are slightly tweeked in the production department but have guest vocals from Killer Mike, Khujo Goodie etc etc. Although these MC's come tight it isn't a patch on the originals and if you own dirty acres these tracks are unecessary.

The rest of the album however is typical cunninlynguists, a mixture of wit, humor and deep thought. Mr SOS puts in a track called die for you which reminds me alot of porcelin by tonedeff. Hypnotise is a great, catchy summer tune. Alot of what makes the production on here tick is the samples Kno uses on the hooks, various crooners singing all manner of things at various pitches.

If your familiar with the Sloppy Seconds releases then this is best described as a happy medium between that and a proper release. There is more quality control here and will quench the average Cunninlynguist fans taste buds up until Vol.2 is released. The album is a 7 out of 10 album any day of the week but i can't give it 3 and a half stars so i opted for 4 as its still better than most of the other stuff being released in Hip Hop.

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