Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blackout Sands: "Who Killed Jiminy Cricket?" album review


We don't cover a lot of hip hop here at Snob's Music.  It just doesn't hold much appeal.

However, there appears to be some hope on the horizon for the genre, and it's coming from a very unexpected place: the Midwest.  First it was Minneapolis' P.O.S. with his solid album, now it's Milwaukee's Blackout Sands.

The trio's new album, Who Killed Jiminy Cricket?, is a genre-bending collection of all-original tracks.  Combining modern hip hop with a sprinkling of elements of 70's funk, R&B, jazz, dub, and world music, the group takes my stereotypical impression of hip hop and turns it on its head.

What we get on Jimiy Cricket is a virtually sample-free record.  We get real instruments (drum, guitar, bass, melodica, and more), original electronic effects, and actually honest-to-goodness singing.

The most impressive part of the album may be that, unlike most hip hop on the radio, Blackout Sands don't treat treble like it's the enemy.  They seem keenly aware of its importance in the creation of you know, melody.

The trio accomplish all this without losing any of the pointedness in their lyrics.

If all hip hop sounded like Blackout Sands (or P.O.S.) I would listen to a lot more of it.

Best tracks: "Bottom of the Well", "Cliche Love"

Track listing for Who Killed Jiminy Cricket?:
  • Intro
  • One More
  • Blackout
  • Flavor
  • The Long Road Ahead
  • Cement Flowers
  • Interlude
  • Bottom of the Well
  • More Than a Habit
  • These Are the Days
  • Dubby
  • Cliche Love
  • Bridge Break
7.5

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