Monday, November 16, 2009

Kid Sister: "Ultraviolet" (album review)

Indie hipsters and the hip hop community alike have waited a long time for Ultraviolet.  The album is the full length debut from uber-cool Chicago rapper Kid Sister.  People will undoubtedly be mixed in their reactions to the finished product though.

Ultraviolet at times is a dynamic and refreshing record.  When she's at her best, Kid Sister provides a compelling and diverse listen, pulling in influences ranging from techno ("Right Hand Hi") to disco ("54321") to dancehall ("You Ain't really Down").

Her raps tend to be catchy, back by fun arrangements.  Hooks make a song like "Life On TV" a potential radio staple while still keeping an intricately layered "Get Fresh" engaging and energetic.  The '80s techno pop "Big N' Bad" aside, the judicious use of recognizable samples keeps the album from falling into one of the biggest hip hop traps.

Ultraviolet does disappoint at times.  The inclusion of the played out "Pro Nails" is enough to make any listener cynical (and an appearance by ultra-douche Kanye West doesn't help).  Adding an 18 month old track to your debut album feels like a rip off.

But what's worse is the filler on the record.  "Step" (featuring Estelle) is a cluttered and Autotuned mess.  The less aggressive "Let Me Bang 2009" is a snoozer, while "Switch Board" feels like it would burst into an M.I.A. tune at any moment.

In the end the hope we had for Ultraviolet didn't materialize often enough, leaving us wanting more than just another guest-bloated hip hop record.

Best tracks: "Life On TV", "Daydreaming"

Track listing for Ultraviolet:

  • Right Hand Hi
  • Life On TV
  • Big N' Bad
  • Step
  • Let Me Bang 2009
  • Pro Nails
  • Daydreaming
  • Switch Board
  • 54321
  • Get Fresh
  • You Ain't Really Down
  • Control
Kid Sister's Myspace

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