Friday, November 5, 2010
Kno - Death Is Silent (2010)
For fans of: CunninLynguists, Mos Def, Dessa
This is definitely one of the best hip hop albums of the year, however it doesn't contain the much of the year's best "hip hop." Understand? While it's far from bad, the rapping here is not the best. Rather, what makes this album great is its production and overall mood. There are no real hard-hitters here, it's all relatively soft and soulful. Unlike your average hip hop, this is lush, thoughtful, and elegant. There are guitars and singing throughout many of these songs, and there is never a shortage of aural captivation. The lyrical themes focus on death and life at large and are very contemplative. This is simply a fantastic and explorative piece of musical production that isn't confined by its genre. It's one of those lonely late night albums that'll take you away from your surroundings. - Matthew Foster
"My opinion on this album isn’t fixed. It’s not how we listen to music. You shouldn’t be listening to music through memory, it makes your ears secondary. Point is – what this album means to me will change from tomorrow, to next week, to years from now. It depends where my life is. The listener always brings a lot to the music. You will also interpret this album differently because it’s so honest and real. We have learned more about Kno on this project than his past projects combined. Some of you may not like his delivery choice on some tracks as he’s in character, but then you’re missing the point. Please listen to the lyrics and take your time with it. The dude is pouring his soul out.
Musically, Kno introduces his ear for synths. Combining samples with synth and creating a dreamy, break beat like project has made a great marriage with the topic of the project. It’s mature, yet it has its fun moments but for the most part it requires your favorite headphones and attentiveness. For me, it feels reviewing this because I’ve been thinking ‘what’s the fucking point?’ People care about honest music? Value and appreciation is seldom. Should I care about sharing what I think about this project and more importantly how could Kno even care about what we think after an album like this? Maybe it’s hope? Maybe this is the first in many steps in breaking the silence." - JTX