Sunday, September 26, 2010

Album Review: "Geography" by Dash Speaks

1. The World is Flat (N 29-¦ 31' 54.9116_ E 35-¦ 0' 21.9031_)
Eery-spacey start to a uniquely conceptualized album. All of the track titles have geographic coordinates tied to them (other than the last one) which I assume DO have some sort of significance, otherwise that’d be a bit sad. “Peter O’ Toole” line a little obscure and drawn out. Getting a vague “Drake” feel from the pace and delivery (monotone) of this track. This beat is haunting, I like. Nice use of vocabulary. “What being a man is as long as a butterfly’s wings are flappin/ cause and effect is subject to fact check.” Doesn’t make much sense to me but sounds good. I can tell this will be a very instrumental-heavy album, which I can appreciate. I’m hearing some light auto-tune, semi-fail.

2. Tonight (N 59-¦ 19' 56.0194_ E 18-¦ 2' 8.5412_)
This one starts right off with some throbbing bass-synth. Nice. Pretty good multi-syllabic rhymes. Tight sample on the beat. The lack of emotion can be irking. Third verse has some great imagery. “I sing too, we both got that hunger pain”. “At the bottom of the bag, but here’s a last taste”.

3. Fill Up the Void (N 47-¦ 48' 55.3212_ E 28-¦ 15' 55.5984_)
Proper progression album-wise. I was about ready for a club track. Very mainstream and poppy. Nice vocal effects pre-chorus. The chorus is by… Blue Man Group??? No, not really… Well, probably not. I’m not feeling the conviction behind the track. It feels like DS put this together more out of (the perception of) need rather than want. Def. not a fan of this track.

4. Tragic Kingdom (N 27-¦ 58' 48.072_ E 86-¦ 55' 17.5548_)
This is a little more like it. Back onto the spooky techno style. “Current/wire”, ok. “The ink I (Inca) drop like conquistadores”, tight!! “Box me in like Bento” to “pop like Prosecco” was an excellent example of how to fit 2 punchlines into one bar. It’s great when neither are very complex or incredibly original like these two, but when placed together, it works really well. Catchy chorus, could have been tweaked a little more though. The second verse starts off with what sounds like pure filler made to sound tight. Maybe I’m not catching something here. “What most of what you cop is just cut and copy”, ok. Gotta respect this man’s knowledge… He’s dropping Cold War references for guard sakes! Haha! Halfway through the second verse, the appeal starts to fade. “On top like halter”, ok.

5. Army of Me (N 34-¦ 3GǦ 30.05GǦ W 118-¦ 26GǦ 28.09GǦ)
I’ve fallen into an abyss of a cliché with this one. I am glazing over this track, not much is retaining after many plays. “Just cuz you reaching for the stars, don’t mean that they align”, pretty good. 3rd was stronger than the first two at least. Bland track.

6. Explorer's Anthem (N 10-¦ 18' 38.5805_ E 124-¦ 0' 54.7513_)
Cool start. Chorus is alright. Nice wordplay. “Magellen” line was nice. 2nd verse has some seemingly forced lines (where does corduroy fit into this?). Diggin’ the commitment to the exploring theme.

7. Before You Go (N 40-¦ 44' 9.298_ W 73-¦ 59' 14.788_)
So here’s an R&B track. Delivery draaaaaaaags on the second verse. Zzzzzzzz… “You see what I mean, cuz I see you and you see me, and we both see something don’t we?” HAHA!! Wow. That was bad. Ok, around 2:45 we’re heading into jingle territory. I can imagine some females liking this track (no offense). Definitely not up my alley or even near the block. It’s probably a good couple train stops (plus a shuttle bus) away.

8. Faultline (N 81-¦ 18GǦ 0GǦ W 110-¦ 48GǦ 0GǦ)
80s rock kinda vibe starting here. Very Journey. Beat is pretty tight. Singing on the chorus could be better. I like the concept though. This is pretty catchy actually. “The change in the climate has affected the tide”. Distorted-effect verse maybe a tad loud. I wish there was more substance to this song, because it has such a classic feel to it. I recommend a remix!

9. DubStep (N 48-¦ 51GǦ 10.8GǦ E 2-¦ 20GǦ 59.28GǦ)
More auto-tune? I am frowning deeply. Nice rhyme scheme. Chorus is ok. ADD imagery. “Semi and Mobile”? Obscure reference. “Marco Polo”, meh – does continue the explorer theme though. “My style is not the proto”, weak punchline. Sounds cool but could have been tweaked to make more sense. “Quasi-quasimoto”, tight. The whole medicine metaphor portion didn’t make much sense to me.

10. Martians Won (RA 05h 35m 14.29s _ Dec -05-¦ 23' 37.91_)
Second verse is kinda random. Dash went from talking about his uncle to Martians inquiring about his kicks within a couple bars. 3rd verse continues the wackiness.

11. Martians Too (Adrastea)
Auto-tune orgy here. And the real techno has begun as well. Oh, lordy. Interesting concept. Doesn’t get much poppier than this. Makes Justin Timberlake sound like Rakim.

+ Dope album concept put to good use.
+ Great use of vocabulary.
+ A few quotables here and there.
+ Great, cohesively laid, production.
+ Nice track variety.

- Some really weak lyrics at parts.
- Way too poppy!!! This is an underground *hip-hop* review blog, afterall.
- No emotion whatsoever.
- Very “Drake-esque” in his approach and delivery.

Compatibility Rating:
Underground: 15%
Mainstream: 85%

Favorite Song: Tragic Kingdom

Face Value: 7.3/10



No comments:

Post a Comment