Hip-hop emcee/producer Will C. tells a personal tale on his latest release, dubbed a “story book record”, Runaway, Train.
Will C.‘s earlier release this year was with the group John Wayne’s Seat Belt on their self-titled EP, and not since The Wonder Years have I felt nostalgia-by-proxy for that American childhood I never actually had. Indeed, it’s nostalgia that’s the prevalent tone here on Runaway, Train, from it’s concept as a storybook record to it’s skeletal structure of old movie sound bytes that simultaneously serve to provide an insight into Will’s world, and induce fond chuckles from fans of the era. But it’s not at all heavy-handed or forlorn in an attempt to relive times-gone-by, rather it seems to naturally exist in that era as it tells it’s story through the music.
This means no rhymes this time from one of my personal favourite emcee’s, but that’s not a bad thing because I’m equally enamoured by his production skills. For those who heard his last solo LP, Eli’s Prism, this record is full of the elusive instrumental snippets that were tucked away throughout that leaving ears fiending for more. The bass licks and growls on “Goin’ Platinum”, the choral harmonies on “Matchpoint”, and “Son Rises In The East” in it’s entirety will sound highly faithful on your sound system of choice.
Indeed, the whole album does, and liner note readers of recent years will know why. As a result, there’s no filler or dead air here, absolutely every sound seems to have it’s place and purpose. My only fear is that the intricacy of Runaway, Train might require more time than many listeners may have to let it grab a hold and achieve full appreciation – I’m half a dozen plays in and only feel like I’m absorbing it now. I only know a handful of people who still spend that much time with new music, but in the end that doesn’t really matter; Will C. knows his toolbox well and has created a damn fine product with it that’ll still be sonically sturdy for people to discover and enjoy in years to come. Hip-Hop auteurism at it’s finest once again, people.