It’s been a while since I reviewed ‘The Crow’ which featured the collective efforts of the Kojak Brothers (Humble Pious being amongst them) and despite my less than glowing opinions at the time I still find myself sticking it on from time to time because, doubts aside, there was some good stuff there beyond the predictably solid beats from Mr Loop (quick recommendation for ‘Hunger Pains’, stand out track from the album and paen to the stoner reality). Certainly enough to merit paying some attention to Humble Pious’s new joint which, happily enough, moves beyond some of the criticisms I’d have thrown at The Crow. I’m still not awe struck by the lyrical side of things although there’s a far less chaotic feel here with Humble Pious (and guests) taking up a nicely measured style over swaying, rich beats.
Production wise it’s not a mind blowing experience but it’s got a definite warmth to it, mixing in a consistent pace with a general lo-fi feel which feeds in well to HP’s musing, half nostalgic style. Plus there’s a good ear for samples here which holds tracks together without falling into the trap of just sticking things in because they sound cool in isolation. I’d say that there’s a lack of definite hooks here but given the nature of the album it’s hard to point out where you’d fit in a purely crowd pleasing element and there are still moments which stand out enough to give tracks a definite identity.
Lyrically nothing is forced, HP manages to carry a strong voice without having to use any grand gestures or overly-enthusiastic delivery to make his point. Lyrical and vocal honesty I suppose you could call it, Humble Pious shows his best here when he’s balancing a passion for the words with a sense of indifference towards the audience. ‘Nam Kyo’ skips the usual cries for attention and instead just does what it does and genuinely does leave you wanting to listen in.
Stand out tracks, for me, are ‘Gone Not Forgot’, which seems to carry some genuine and well delivered feeling – and ‘Irie’ (ft. Reminisce and cuts by Slippa) which strays in an almost Indie direction with a nicely sparse but still involving sound, which isn’t a million miles away from the likes of De La Soul.
Anyway, well worth a download.