After having listened to the album pretty much on repeat for the past few days, I can’t deny its power and how appropriate its title is. Yes, I was lured, mesmerised and compelled to press replay. There is something hypnotic about this album, as if Tall Black Guy had poured some crushed sleeping pills in his instrumentals or The Primeridian and their guests enveloped their lyrics with soporific substances. Darling Lure is more than a concept album, this is more than just music. This… is your new addiction.
First of all, because I believe in the power of suspense, I’ll leave you to ponder over this cryptic introduction and touch upon something else that caught my attention. Don’t worry, you’ll be under my spell soon enough and will learn more about what I meant in due time. For now, I want to underline Tall Black Guy’s amazing job on this album, with spotless production that sounds as rich as a hot chocolate sponge cake filled with dark and sweet liquid cocoa. As you can see, I’m quite inspired tonight and I promise I didn’t take any illicit substances or anything I could regret in the morning. As it happens, I’m headed to The Primeridian’s very own windy city early tomorrow, which may make me slightly more excited than usual. This, of course, doesn’t have anything to do with my point, which was that Tall Black Guy crafted some incredible instrumentals where many different elements add up to create complex yet fluid beats and melodies.
I think it should take quite a lot of listens to actually pick up all the tiny details and that obviously calls for a heavy rotation for the album. One of the elements I find very interesting is the use of samples, which made me very curious and could have turned me in a sample fanatic if I knew where to start. I am sure proper crate diggers will appreciate though and I need to credit TBG for this. The only sample I could actually recognise was that of Minnie Ripperton (after a little research) in Let’s Go, which was used both in Slum Village’s Look of Love and ATCQ’s Lyrics To Go. That’s about all I know about hip-hop so I hope you’ll forgive me for taking pride in it. In addition to this great importance given to samples and chops, there is also the inclusion of beautiful instruments and vocals, which complete the sonic landscape and make it even richer. Special mention for Simeon Viltz’s heartfelt and magnificent trumpet notes.
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/10-Lets-Go-1.mp3″ text=”The Primeridian – Let’s Go (prod Tall Black Guy)” dl=”0″]
Now, after some probably failed attempts at being witty and funny, it’s time to get serious. What I find most interesting about Darling Lure and what makes it that compelling is its sometimes dark, heavy, twisted atmosphere, which is present on many tracks and gives it this hypnotic touch. There is a cinematic element here, created by the mixture of a soundtrack worthy to be associated with noir or horror films and amazing story-telling skills as well as a wild imagination from the different MCs. Tall Black Guy used hard-knocking, head-nodding drums, captivating basslines and equally mesmerising synths and vocals, which all create this mysterious universe. With their witty wordplay, The Primeridian and their guests add some visuals to this sonic experience, turning it in a broader sensorial adventure.
This is most obvious with the twisted, borderline creepy Trust, where the electronic beat and different effects are reminiscent of a Jack The Ripper type of horror movie, where (not so) innocent ladies are in danger with lustful, deranged predators. I am of course exaggerating slightly, but there is no denying this track is one of the most interesting, as it enables The Primeridian, ADaD and G.G. to display their lyrical tricks and showcase their story-telling abilities.
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/11-Trust-feat.-ADaD-and-G.G..mp3″ text=”The Primeridian – Trust feat ADaD & G.G. (prod TBG)” dl=”0″]
Contrary to what you may think after reading the previous paragraph, it is not all about dark, creepy atmospheres and I have to underline the variety of ambiences and themes on this album. Even though this hypnotic element I keep mentioning is recurrent and serves as some kind of extended metaphor all through Darling Lure, that is not all there is to this album. There are many different themes, from music to Chicago or society, as well as different points of view with the numerous guests. Most of the MCs and singers that were invited are also from Chicago, which makes the album a kind of display of some of the best artists in the city. You have Pugs Atomz (Change the meridian), Naledge (Bucktown), Shev Rock (Melodic Healing) to name a few. This surprisingly works very well and doesn’t remove anything of the specificity and uniqueness of the album.
When the production isn’t obscure or gloomy, it gets really uplifting and chilled, while always getting your head to nod uncontrolably. This is the perfect soundtrack for the lighter topics and feel-good factor. The most striking example is Whistle while you work, where it is probably impossible not to actually whistle and smile while listening to the music and lyrics. There are also very inspiring, sometimes spiritual messages, as is the case with Hang on and TakeUThere. The accumulation of all the different atmospheres and the various themes developed make Darling Lure a vivid, comprehensive album that deserves many listens to be fully appreciated.
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/06-TakeUThere-feat.-Yaw-Iomos-Marad-Uncle-Imani-of-the-Pharcyde-1.mp3″ text=”The Primeridian – TakeUThere feat Yaw, Iomos Marad & Uncle Imani” dl=”0″]
As usual, it is quite difficult to mention every single element I believe to be worthy of attention, but Darling Lure really sounds like a copious meal laying in front of you. There are many flavours, many smells and you’ll need some time to finish it and ingest all it has to offer. I think I’m quite insistent on the metaphor front today but that’s usually what concept albums do to me. I assume you all understood how warmly I recommend you give the album a listen and how admiring I am of Tall Black Guy and The Primeridian. For their first collaborative effort, they passed with great honours.
[easyreview title=”Word Is Bond Rating” cat1title=”Lyrics” cat1detail=”Great lyrical skills, witty wordplay and crafty story-telling allow the MC’s to create images with their words” cat1rating=”4.5″ cat2title=”Production” cat2detail=”Extremely rich and vivid production with numerous layers, samples and instruments. A real journey into, at times, dark and mysterious worlds” cat2rating=”5″ cat3title=”Originality” cat3detail=”The title is very fitting and we witness an original concept album that keeps its promises and brings some freshness and novelty” cat3rating=”4.5″ cat4title=”Replayability” cat4detail=”Several listens are necessary to grasp all the album has to offer. The hypnotic element definitely helps putting it on repeat” cat4rating=”4″ summary=”A complex yet compelling album that plays with different themes and atmospheres, with spotless production and excellent lyrics. A must-have”]