Look at that, i was able to maintain a theme two days in a row. Will wonders never cease? Am i not taking the appropriately high dosage these days? How many licks DOES it take to get to the center of Lil’ Kim? How long would you need to sterilize your tongue after the fact? So many questions, so little time. What the hell was i talking about again? Oh yes, another terrible album review…
We get so many submissions at LET, i’m embarrassed to say it’s almost impossible for us to listen to each and every one. That is not to say we don’t give it ye olde college try, but there are only so many hours in a day. As i’ve opined in the past, it’s often the pitch letter that separates what goes onto the iPod and what lingers in the inbox. While i obviously prefer personal notes, every now and then, an artist/PR flak/whoever puts together a compelling enough mass email that i’ll bite. When the announcement for Micah Smith and mirF’s Kosmos came through, claiming to combine “the musical stylings of sampled soul, jazz, and chinese hip-hop beats steeped in the words of Walt Whitman,” well, i was hooked. Hells yes, i dig chinese hip-hop beats; i grew up on bad kung-fu and anime. And who doesn’t like Walt Whitman? Only dumb asses, and i’ve got no time for their lot anyway.
When i heard the opening, sped-up strings and diva vocals on Kosmos opener “Touch,” i prepared myself for the worst, though. Sure, it may be an academic argument to some, but i like my instrumental hip-hop beat heavy, not necessarily dance floor ready. i’m about the headphone nodding, which is not automatically the same thing as what gets your booty bopping, as it were. Fortunately, i was quickly rewarded for my patience, as the drums soon slowed the affair down, and the chopped vocal sample showed a whole new side to the track. “Bliss (Together)” nails the Nujabes vibe so perfectly, it damn well should be on Tribute to Jun. The closing vocal sample, a dialogue between a man and a woman, wherein the man suggests a celebration, and the woman prefers they stay home, together, and listen to records, pretty much sums up the entire vibe of the album. “Eagle Claw” ups the Asian considerably, incorporating old school chop sockey strings and woodwinds. Made me want to get my Bruce Leroy on (this one, not this one), but that might have just been me. “All Goes Onward and Outward” is a spoken word piece played over Atari beats; i’m not saying it’s better to listen to stoned, but i’m not NOT saying that, either. “Rain Fall” adds a bit of bedroom vibe to the affair. (Ed. note: What is it about precipitation that automatically makes composers think about getting it on?) “Exits” is a perfect outro, which is good, because it would have been an odd name choice for any other track, don’t you think?
Best of all, this one, too, is a freebie, so shake your tail feathers and pick it up yourself. Whether you need a soundtrack for to align your chi with your gravity bong or are looking to seduce that cute kunoichi that keeps throwing stars at your head during practice, this album is right for you.