“The cat’s out the bag the new Shads out!”

Shadrach Kabango is back with his third, highly anticipated album that holds even higher expectations. Those familiar with 80’s Punk band of the name may also be familiar with the TSOL acronym. True Sounds Of Liberty; a title that definitely lives up to its name. It’s been a while (three years), but this Canadian emcee is far from rusty as he delivers yet another masterful piece of work filled with the witty and charismatic delivery of life lessons over a variety of diverse beats.

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If you aren’t fortunate enough to have heard Shad by now, you’ll be sure to never forget him after listening to this album. He makes his presence abundantly clear on here as he pounds your mind with line after line of flawless rhymes that never cease to impress. ‘Yaa I get It’ is  the most powerful song, in terms of volume, he has ever made. It jumps at one with such vigor that it’s difficult to ignore. Shad switches his roll to storyteller on ‘A Good Name’ as he explains the origin and meaning of his name and how it reflects on his own character.

Shad, with his endless bombardment of similes and humorous lines, is sure to put a well placed smile on your face when listening to some of these tracks. The usage of the word “like” is definitely pushed to it’s full extent. Although there is no song such as ‘The Old Prince Still Lives At Home’ or ‘Wild’ from previous albums that serve as comical break from the very deep subjects on which he touches on, the humor still manages to find ways to leak out.

You can’t, however, never go as far as to say he is a rapper who cannot be taken seriously because of his jokes. He often explores deep subjects and has made some of the most powerful songs i have ever heard. His subject is easily relate-able to any audience, whether he’s talking about bad times, good times, and yes, even the bittersweet emotionally drastic times (‘At The Same Time’). The outro on this album falls as one of favorites along with the Old Prince outro. Taking a beat out of a Shad verse is like unleashing Shad’s poetic soul from it’s cage as it jumps out and speaks to yours with resonating lines.

[wpaudio url=”https://www.thewordisbond.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/11-At-The-Same-Time.mp3″ text=”Shad – At The Same Time” dl=”0″]

All of the content of the world seems to just be stuffed into a 2 minute long interlude named ‘Call Waiting’. It flows through extraordinarily well with a colorful array of impressive metaphors. It also gives a fresh breath of air after listening to ‘Telephone. As far as the romantic kind of love goes, ‘Telephone’ is the only song that touches on the theme. Sorry, no Out Of Love part 3 here. I know I know, it was kind of sad about it too, but the rainstorms out your window are still presented in this one, with a song that is almost as good for you hopeless romantics. It took me a few listens to really appreciate it to its fullest.

My only gripes with this album would have to be the selection of beats and choruses on certain songs. After so many great songs, it would be difficult to maintain the winning streak and not make a song that isn’t so great. We, Myself, and I has a hectic beat that was contributed by Broken Social Scene. While it isn’t the beat itself or Shad that makes this song less than favorable in my book, it’s the combination. The beat takes control of this song and we can’t have that with a emcee like Shad who’s lyrics must dominate in order to be used to their full effect. It makes me miss the old Shad from When This Is Over, who stuck to very simple guitar rhythms and drum patterns. The lyrical content is, as usual, very clever except for the chorus which is just a vague repetition of the word yes. The chorus on ‘We Are The Ones’ falls as a little cheesy. The beat brings out an illusion of serious matter, but its actually the opposite. Shad’s first verse misleads the audience, but the guest appearances set everything back on path with very well written lines. “…living on a new beach and everyone here’s in a two piece while my soul’s bare…boobies…spelled on a calculator…” The awkwardness of this first verse makes it hilarious. The beat on ‘Lucky 1’s could have been better. It doesn’t slide through well enough, but Shad accommodates his flow respectively and IanKamau’s passionate voice adds to the soulful meaning to this track.

[wpaudio url=”https://www.thewordisbond.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/08-Call-Waiting-Interlude.mp3″ text=”Shad – Call Waiting (Interlude)” dl=”0″]

Although it may or may not be his best work as a whole, this is definitely another great addition to a very talented artist’s discography. Shad is a master of manipulating the moods of his listener, whether he pulls you into a introspective trance, impresses with a relentless demonstration of skill, or simply humors you with his charismatic personality. However you look at this album, one thing is for certain, Shad’s work is saturated with the unmistakable sense of hope the Hip-Hop culture yearns for in these modern times.

SHAD – Rose Garden



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