Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sole and the Skyrider Band: "Plastique" (album review)

By now I'm sure you've realized that we don't cover a lot of hip hop here.  But from time-to-time there's something that comes across our desktop that's a little more interesting than the "shot-my-ho-in-the-face-for-some-money" kind of hip hop that (stereotypically) dominates the genre.

The latest is Plastique, the second album from Sole and the Skyrider Band.  The album is the result of Sole's self-imposed exile from the outside world.  He spent the last two years virtually cut-off from society, living in the Coconino National Forest in Arizona.

Sole's lyrics and themes are definitely socially aware, however the thoughts are presented in a way that more people can relate to than the typical rap album.  Most people who consume hip hop can't relate first hand to the gun, drugs, and gangster culture that the genre tends to comment upon.  Sole's rhymes are more accessible by focusing on more believable (and intelligent) things like television, prozac, Modest Mouse, Atlas Shrugged, Pitchfork, and Philip K. Dick novels.

Musically Plastique has more in common with Massive Attack or Roni Size than it does with Lil' Wayne or Jay-Z.  Big, bold drums pound away augmented by a wide array of instruments which add a depth far beyond the reach of most shallow hip hop that relies solely on aggravatingly repetitive beats.

If you're an indie hipster (or wanna be one) looking for some more artists to round out your hip hop playlist, Sole and the Skyrider Band will fit nicely alongside the likes of P.O.S., Blackout Sands, More Or Les, and Aesop Rock.

Best tracks: "Longshots", "Mr. Insurgent"

Track listing for Plastique:
  • Children of Privilege
  • Battlefields
  • Longshots
  • Nothing Pt. 2
  • More
  • Pissing In the Wind
  • Bait
  • Mr. Insurgent
  • Black
7.5/10
Sole's website
Sole's Myspace

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amazing artist/album. Awful review though. "If you're an indie hipster (or wanna be one).." Are you serious? If you're a hipster, go listen to vampire weekend or some other generic, watered down pop and leave this to the real heads. And a comparison to Aesop Rock? HAH. Someone needs to be slapped for failing on this review.