|Jul 11, 2006:
|How Many Licks Does It Take, Mr. Owl?
Keep It Alive!
|Jun 05, 2006:
|Sunshine ... in the Afternoon
|Jul 09, 2006:
|the perennial philosophy
Keep It Alive!, In All The Wrong Places
|Jun 03, 2006:
|Jul 07, 2006:
|Sunshine ... in the Afternoon
Check The Blueprints
Windmills of the Soul
Plug Label (www.pluglabel.com)
The beats on this album are some of the best I’ve heard lately. The production style alone makes the album worth listening to! The lyrics are conversational and thoughtful on the internal dialogue, personal journey type description side of thngs. This is an album where you need to listen to each song and see which tracks you empathize with since most cuts are not your rap along type hip hop where you get caught by a Blackalicious style hook. . As a producer, Kero can stand with anyone out there layin down funky grooves. The instrument arrangement and parts are really great and he really gives fresh live to the Motown and funky jazz elements utilized by hip hop… especially significant in the fresh coast renaissance style. I believe that Kero plays the keyboard parts and elements and they roll like nothing else... mad skills there...All tracks are clean and worth playing although my favorites are Give Thanks, Tempted, It’s a New Day, Keep It Alive and Check the Blueprint. ~ Cikee
1. Windmills Intro: Jazz guitar riff centers the piece while Kero just repeats the title… nice for an intro / interlude.
2. Give Thanks (feat. Niamaj): The beat is on a tone down Headhunters vibe. It flows in a light almost bluesy but still positive vibe. Keyboard rolls on and a cool sax riff comes in as a nice accent. Female vocal sample funks it up a bit. Lyrics give perspective on social inequality and personal gratitude for the good things in life. I love the keys on this track.
3. Musical Journey: Another dope cut where the sax and the organ mix perfectly with hand percussion into a rolling groove. This track has soul behind it and the parts pull your attention to each development. I love the sax breakdowns and the organ riffs. The lyrics come in and out like another instrument in the breakdowns.
4. My Story: The vibe is more mellow on this one… its more typical bay area happy hip hop vibe and reflects the emotional content of the lyrics well… definitely a blazed type of body rock… almost a little too mellow. The beat is definitely relaxed with quiet breakdowns. More on the Rhodes and hand percussion sound.
5. In a Dream: Deals with the disassociation one feels with relationships and goals caused by addiction and general use of substances and altered mental states… the beat has a vocal sample pitched up and sounds a bit middle ground. It’s a solid track with valuable sentiments and the beat works (of course).
(King Most on Production)
6. Ain’t that Somethin?: I actually wish there were more funked out tweeker grooves like this on the record. Laced with vocal samples and a synth just rippin along.
7. Tempted: Funky bassline and light guitar struts turn this into a lighthearted party track. The sax locks in the groove and really builds the beat into perfect balance. The lyrics deal with balancing practical, creative, and social activities and golas. Love the beat!! Love It!! (and he says “tampons” – haha).
8. In All The Wrong Places: The mandolin sample is excellently flipped. The piano totally trickles down you ears like honey. The hook is a little week but the lyrics are fun and catch you in spots. This beat is something else though. I would have liked more breakdowns without the hook. The guitar interlude is especially warm and nice and the keyboard riff on the outro is extremely worth the listen.
9. Keep It Alive!: This is classic trueskool… funky and poppin in that low key cali style. Its catchy and totally draws you in. As a single this track was rockin and it works just as well with the flow of the album. One of the best tracks still – solid… “as I flirt with wax” – quote of the track. (King Most on Production)
10. The Cycle Repeats: The title brings the cycle of music sampling, re-use and the continued influence of various styles. The flute sample is quintessential body rock but works with an original underground flare. The cuts and vocal samples bring out more of a hip hop vibe.
11. Fly Fly Away: A little more serious and bass hit funky. The male vocal is nice but not amazing. The sentiments are honest and solid. The beat is a bit more broken and choppy than the rest which flow and flow on… this has more section to it. Beat is still mellow but the dominant part is the vocal this time.
12: It’s a New Day: This might be my favorite track on the whole album. Its got a good groove and you can definitely sway to it! The female vocal crooning sweetens up the whole tone and a whispering wishful way. The breakdowns and the drums keep it upbeat and progressive while the keys and sax create rolling waves of melody to alternate with vocal elements. The drums have a lot of changeups and it keeps an organic vibe throughout. Really great cut! Play it! (works as an sintrumental for mic breaks as well)
13. Check the Blueprint: This is the track that brought me into Kero’s sound initially and its still one of his best. A great example of conscious lyrics and a funky beat that you can drop in the club or just vibe out to. It’s a flat out nod your head to this type track on a nod your head to this type album.
|In All The Wrong Places
|Keep It Alive!
|The Cycle Repeats
|In A Dream
|Fly Fly Away
|Ain't That Something?
|Its A New Day
|Check The Blueprints