Thursday, September 30, 2010

Crate Digging: A Piece of Strange

by CunninLynguists

Whenever a conversation turns to discussing someone's "top ten" albums, or which cds you would take with you to a desert island, this album is on my list.

It was with this disc that I first became familiar with the CunninLynguists (a rather unfortunately-named rap group from the south).  Their earlier releases were a little more jokey and frat-party ready, but this album was a sea change for the group.

This is a very mature, thoughtful example of hip-hop at its best.  It is almost a concept album, with a string of connected tracks that tell the story of a father with a mixed-race daughter.  This cycle, which features Immortal Technique and Tonedeff is brilliant, as it progresses into all instrumental tracks that show producer Kno's versatility.

The rest of the album is just as wonderful.  The disk starts rather conventionally, but Kno's more soulful production helps push rappers Deacon the Villain and Natty to challenge themselves.  The last three tracks of the album are very beautiful.

The other thing I wanted to mention that I'd never noticed until tonight is that the cover artwork is done by Becky Cloonan.  It doesn't really look like her usual style, but I think that's incredibly cool.  I love it when some of my disparate interests line up.

No comments: