Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ab & Daru - A.W.I.P. Album Review

If you like your Soul served up with a side of heavy, clunky, funky, dirty, raw hip-hop... This is UNDOUBTEDLY the album for you. Ab & Daru have definitely carved their own lane with their soon to be released offering, A.W.I.P. (A Work in Progress). A.W.I.P. is as unique as its accomplished creators. There’s keyboardist/vocalist, Ab, who’s most well known for his contributions on the keys with Slum Village. The other half of the duo, Daru, drummer/producer extraordinaire has played with everyone from Kissey Asplund to Talib Kweli’s Idle Warship. Although on On Deck, Ab sings that he’s “…a little bit of Sly, a little bit of Ohio Players with an Oakland vibe/ little bit mixed with Shuggie Otis,” he sounds a lot like a mixture of D’angelo and Bilal to me. He’s got that molasses on his voice like D’angelo, and wails like Bilal. Beatsmith Daru, brings those dangerous snares that snap like pimp slaps and clunky beats that complement the style of any song on this album.

There is such a mixture of styles/genres here that it keeps you excited, interested, and on your toes... all at the same time. Take for example the way they blend Ab’s voice and Daru’s crunchy beats with harmonies reminiscent of the Grammy Award winning acapella group, Take 6 (Soul Can You Feel Me, Pure As An Angel). They even flip different styles for the members of Slum Village that appear on the album. Elzhi appears on the smoothed out Voicemail, while Daru drops a Count Bass D type drum heavy beat for T3 on the aptly titled, Dirty Soul. They even slow it down for you on the bluesy Gossip, feat Oliver Burrell, which still demands an absent minded DEEP head nod.

An album this good doesn’t deserve a title such as A Work In Progress. Maybe, We Put In Work or Progress Made would be more appropriate. This is going down (already) as one of my top albums for 2009. To take another quote from On Deck, “At this progression", Ab and Daru, are definitely “moving in the right direction!”
DJ Rahdu gives A.W.I.P. 6 out of 7 Head Nods.

* Head Nod Scale
1=Don't waste your time like I did mine.
2=Waste your time like I did mine but I dare you to disagree.
3=Well, there was the single.
4=If it were a hand in spades there's "two and a possible".
5=It's a "good" album. Meaning at least 3 or 4 solid songs.
6=Really Good Project. Has the "Rewind Factor" more than once.
7=The number of completion. Great Album. Instant Classic.


Blogger ChocLitLuvJoi said...

So ever since you did this post, I had to seek out the album b/c of how excited you sounded in your review.

Maaan, I was so not disappointed. When I hit play I was Not expecting this! All this soul/harmonizing over dope drumming and other magical producer type stuff. It's literally been on constant play, so much so that it has already graduated to shuffle status. I really love ALL the songs but my favs are Dirty Soul & On Deck. Ill gritty flow. I loves it. A.W.I.P = Great instrumentals, great flows, great harmonies. A whole lotta attitude, but good attitude.
Project sell off!!!!

April 7, 2009 at 2:43 AM  
Blogger ChocLitLuvJoi said...

oh...7/7 btw...


April 7, 2009 at 2:44 AM  

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