Hip-hop sounds its best when artists push the borders of their sound to perfectly embody what they want to make. Many artists stay within the confines or the normalized hip-hop sound of beats and rap. Oddisee brings the groove in The Iceberg, his new album that brings together hip-hop, blues, and funk.
The album gets off to a groovy and moody start with the somberly crooning horns and snaps of the intro of 'Digging Deep.' A brilliant bassline accompanies them before Oddisee kicks in full force with a very mindful and driven flow. The best part of this song is that it's constantly changing. New elements and motifs are constantly being added as the song progresses, leaving no room for dull moments. The groove continues in 'Things' and its interesting atmosphere.
The Iceberg thrives off of its creativity. There's such a fine understanding of every single moment of this record. There's the little things that really shine, like the entirely metallic vibe of 'Hold It In' and the punchy and epic bassline of 'Built By Pictures.' Further into the record, there's smoother, less jagged and fluid textures - 'Like Really' is fast paced but has a certain smoothness to it, while jazzier vibes are brought in 'Want To Be.'
No hip-hop album is complete without a bit of chaos. This chaos has to be mindfully executed, however, to really shine. The percussion provides a lot of that chaos on this record. It helps 'Nnge' sound huge, its drive and atmosphere very apparent and carried throughout the track. The drums go huge on 'Waiting Outside,' the epitome of chaos on this record. The hooks ring sweetly with a punchy bass and crashing percussion in some crazy array of different elements. It feels detached but still has this unifying quality that makes it all come together. 'Rain Dance' perhaps isn't chaotic in execution, but in mood, it's odd but still has a generally depressed feel.
Oddisee isn't afraid to push boundaries. He embodies his art just - it is the child of his mind. You get the undeniable feeling that everything on this album comes off exactly as he planned for it to. He brings the groove in The Iceberg and it never lets up for a second. It may not be perfect but it's art at it's finest.
Favorite Tracks: Digging Deep, Nnge, Rights & Wrongs
Least Favorite Track: You Grew Up
Rating: 82 / 100
Buy or listen to The Iceberg here: