Album Review: Son On A Sunday – Son Of Tony

New York’s underground hip-hop heavyweight, SON OF TONY rallied up his troops, fellow underground hip-hop heavyweights, Micky Factz, Skyzoo, Tish Hyman and Ren Thomas for his highly-anticipated debut album, ‘Son On A Sunday’, released on Friday (8th January).

‘Son On A Sunday’ seamlessly transitioned from modern laid-back hip-hop/boombap, (that’s so toe-curling,) to old style rap with samples of old-school soul. The album also features dauntingly airy soundscapes with a rhythmic drumming providing a hard-hitting bass, where each rapper’s flow adding a raw gangstra vibe (listen to ‘No Mercy’ and ‘Zoo’).

So if you’re the type that’s well into underground hip-hop, then you know that ‘Son Of Tony’ and the mentioned featured artists are on top of their game –  and you should know that this album should NOT be overlooked…check it out below…

Must Listens: Energy, Comicon, Snd, Fore Thought

Album Review: Telescope – Midnight Mystery Club

If you, by any chance, enjoyed MIDNIGHT MYSTERY CLUB‘s previous offerings on the blog, then I have a sneaky feeling you might be appeased by their latest album titled, ‘Telescope’.

The 11-track collection carries on the duo’s signature hazy backdrop making way for the hypnotic electro bass and Phil Collin-esque vocals, which gives off a Ibizan vibe, particularly in tracks,  ‘Blow My Mind’, ‘Miracle’ and Swim’.

Further along the album, the guys add a hint of soul, which perfectly smears in with the atmospheric soundscapes in ‘To the Moon and Back’ and title track, ‘Telescope’, giving a spine-tingling sensation.

Nearing towards to end of ‘Telescope’, the sugary light overtones in earlier tracks becomes more audible and gathers paste, taking centre stage in ‘For You, Forever’ and ‘Heavenly’, making both tracks somewhat experimental. The album ends on an high with ‘Sign of The Times, a heavenly lick on indie-disco, topped off by soaring synths and soulful vocals that somehow reminds me of Shalamar.

From the moment I clapped my eyes in the album’s track list, I had that instant urge to check it out and just like their previous releases (‘Keep A Beat’ is my absolute favourite), ‘Telescope’ hit the spot. Check out the album plus songs recommendations below:

Must Listens: Telescope, For You Forever, Heavenly, Signs of The Times

Album Review: 2020 DIvision – JYellowL

Irish rapper JYELLOWL jumps right down to it with his highly-anticipated debut album, ‘2020 DIvison’ and addresses the issue of having self-worth through the introductory track ‘2020’, which possesses an intimate, stripped-back setting later joined by drums, idyllic runs of piano keys and a gusty thump of the b-line.

Melodic tones (which becomes patently clear that this is JYellowL’s trademark) against a seamlessly smooth hip-hop/R&B dropback and boisterous bass, continues through the first half of the album, putting a thought-provoking spin on serious topics such as systemic and institutional racism.

‘2020 DIvision’ then ventures into the realms tropical dancehall/Afrobeats (in ‘Hypocrite’ and ‘Change’), moving onto an air of tranquil trap-hop, 90-inspired afterhours in an acoustic setting and even elements of New Jack-ish era in ‘Tunnel Vision’. Along the breadth of genres, JyellowL continues to cover a breadth of tropics, including his experience in the music industry and taking proactive steps to elevating the youth in today’s society.

From the moment I hit play on ‘2020 DIvision’, it became very clear that JYellowL is more than just a musician who is instantly recognisable through his distinctive sound and catchy flow – he’s a strong activist that isn’t afraid to tackle political and social issues that intrigues as well as disturbs him, urging his audiences to find that inner flame to do the same.

Even through his singles ‘Ozone’, ‘Jewels’, ‘Doesn’t Feel Like’, ‘Mademoiselle’
and ‘Tunnel Vision’ were all well received ahead of the album’s release, JYellowL (personally) will be now further placed as one of the most intriguing and promising artists from the Irish rap scene and perhaps beyond – and may well be look upon as a Juggernaut-like political figure among his peers with ‘2020 DIvision’.

Check out 2020 DIvision check below plus the blog’s songs recommendation:

Must Listen: 2020, Call It What You Want, Doesn’t Feel Like, Change, Tunnel Vision 

Album Review: Delta – NTHN

Tackling the issue of male mental health, NTHN presents his latest album titled ‘Delta’. Written, produced and recorded by the Runcorn producer/artist himself, NTHN takes us through various stages of his own rollercoaster journey with mental health…

Barely audible airy soundscapes coupled with loops of daunting voices starts the turmoil journey with ‘Aware’ which leads on to feather light bed of electronica/pop backdrop which is almost overshadowed by a jarring bass through efforts, ‘Denial’ and ‘Falling’.

The sole presence of the woeful piano (in ‘Wasting Time’) replaces the alarming drive, before the album ventures into the realms of bluesy hip-hop/emo rap and grunge/metal (think along the lines of Nirvana). ‘Delta’ concludes with tranquil layers of feathery light electronica through ’03:35′, which reflects NTHN’s road to recovery to self acceptance and love.

It’s great to see such issues  – such as male mental health – becoming less of a social taboo. Although this album is NTHN’s personal journey, it’s also a sign of encouragement for others to break down the wall of shame and loneliness (two most common feelings that are associated with this issue) and reach out for help.

Have a listen to ‘Delta’ below and view the song recommendations below…

Must listens: Wasting Time, Conflicted

EP Review: Summer ’98 – Zee

Hailing from Canada now based in L.A. artist/producer ZEE‘s new EP is definitely a throwback to the late 1990’s, paying homage to hip-hop and R&B of that era. Although this is a nostalgic collection – which evidently draws influences from 90’s R&B heavyweights including Usher, Destiny’s Child and Aaliyah – I couldn’t help but hear some influences of fellow Canadian artist/rapper Drake, particularly in introductory track, ‘Amazing’.

Further along the EP, Zee makes use of samples from some of the R&B classics, such as Kelly Rowland’s/Nelly’s hit ‘Dilemma’, putting a lick of a misty urban/hip-hop bass to the original through fourth effort, ‘All I Need’.

There’s also an air of the late 1980s included in the EP, when Zee put his stamp on Brenda Russell’s classic, ‘Piano In The Dark’ through concluding track, ‘Letting Go’, by dropping a modern R&B/pop version, giving off a summer hazy feel.

Documenting the events of his first summer love (presumably back in the late nineties), Zee encourages us to re-immerse into our most treasured memories – or create new ones – with his feel-good mini collection. Check out the song recommendations and EP below:

Must Listens: Amazing, Crazy Enough, Mean It