Monday, August 17, 2009

Fresh Espresso "Glamour."

“It's just fucking dope music.”

While the internet debates the legitimacy of this new breed of emcee's and Hip Hop artists I wanna make a distinct effort to get away from titles and labels. Good music is good music and that is what we are all looking for – or at least should be. Our parents generation might still be quick to judge when you utter the double H's but Fresh Espresso is proof that stereotypes and judgments are best left at the door.

I wouldn't advise playing this for your parents, yet I think everyone should hear their debut disc Glamour. as there is something here for everyone. Sure it's rude and loud. It's filled with electronic instruments and some samples. The singing isn't perfect. The flows are. It's high energy. It's life. It's Rik Rude and P Smoov delivering what you've never heard before but have been waiting for.

Filled with more energy than a red bull can, from the moment you hear the bass line open the album on “Espresso” it's clear this album is here to knock. Rik Rude comes in flowing over the simple bass and drum combo about his coffee addiction declaring “I need another cup” just in time for Smoov to drop the synths in. I've never been a coffee drinker but this alone makes me want to be part of the cool kids club who drink French Press and bicker about who has the best cup.

"Diamond Pistols"

The whole album isn't about their coffee fetish though. It is about having fun however and Smoov is determined to keep your head nodding along to his beautifully crated instrumentals (Smoov please take a page from a couple other well known Seattle beat makers and release these by themselves... please!?) you won't ever be bored by the music found on Glamour. Filled with an array of sounds that few are utilizing to as good of results, every track is its own unique experience yet still feels like it's part of something larger than itself. The cohesion that comes with a singular producer is in full effect.

After the up beat party that is “Diamond Pistols” and “Big or Small” they veer left and hit you with “Vader Rap” - the one song I've found people either love or hate. Personally I think it's a hidden gem. Over mashing drums they declare “let's get on the dance floor.” It's certainly a departure from the typical with Smoov singing about seeing her circuit board and Rude making outlandish claims such as he is “vader of the rap game” or that he “invented internet” but I think that is why it's so fun. You have to smile and rock to it – the synth workout throughout doesn't hurt and if you have a pulse it should make you move fulfilling their request and packing dance floors.

They aren't wholly obsessed with the party life however, and thankfully so. Smoov takes a solo turn on “Something New” where he finds time to reflect on the starving artist lifestyle and at the same time boasting about just how good he is, demonstrating that while you may be struggling to live off your art you can know that what you are doing is right and trusting that confidence will lead you in the right direction.
My tracks got more bombs than the cars in Jerusalem
and yeah I made the track
and yes the dude can rap
and yeah I wrote the hook and did the finger snaps and claps
I programmed the drum just so
when the percus roll
your stomach jumps into a somersault
I listen to Donna Summers y'all
[singing] I just want something new
And that is exactly what Fresh Espresso are doing – giving us something new. Some will hate, some will be behind and most of us will be buying the album, rocking it for our friends and playing it loud out our speakers as we cruise down the road, perhaps bringing “Girls and Fast Cars” to life if your lucky.

"Right Here"

While Smoov gets double billing as producer and emcee/singer here, Rik Rude shouldn't be forgotten with his deep voice and impeccable flow he is the perfect fit for the canvases his partner has given him. “Elegant” shows him flexing braggadocios and letting everyone know that he has been on the grind across the country seemingly finding musical contentment on the way. The mood is subdued on the brilliant “We Desire What's Real” - Rude's solo turn and a stunning example of passion being conveyed through verse.
This is my pen
this is my life
at this point music's my wife
what more can I ask for
I'm a libra with a leo
add spice to my life
because i'm a creole
speak to your soul
I got a vision
smoke green til my eyes turn crimson
I keep my head to the sky
even though the skies grey
I know it'd be better days
music's my life today
so long
my spirit is so strong
spirit is so strong
is so strong

This is my life
this is your life
this is so real
this is so chill
we desire what's real

This is my life
this is your life
this is so real
this is so chill
we desire what we feel
Of course they don't end the album on this serious note, but rather bookend the coffee filled intro with the sole guest featuring track (aside from some back up vocalists and a trumpet player) “Coffee Talk.” Mr. Lif and Grieves come through for the perfect summation to an album named after Seattle's most famous product. Lif doesn't even sound like himself and Grieves verse leaves you wondering why he didn't stay in Seattle and at the same time begging to hear whatever it is he has cooking – I'm sure NYC is only inspiring him for the better!

If you are tired of the same retreaded topics and boring nature of Hip Hop today and have been craving something that could be called that next, Fresh Espresso will give you what you've been waiting for. While Hip Hop spirals around, Smoov and Rude have taken a genre that seemed to be at its creative limit and shot off in a new direction by bringing in new sounds, new ideas and incorporating the entire personality of their city, not to mention their own contrasting styles. It may be found in the Hip Hop section at Easy Street but Glamour. is so much more... It's music that everyone needs to hear.

If you haven't seen them live, do it!

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

You review sparkles like P Smoov's beats.