Monday, April 6, 2009

Album Review: Tosca 'No Hassle'

I remember quite a few years back on MTV (back when they still played music), there was this late night show that played on Saturday nights called Amp. It was an hour block of music videos dedicated to showcasing a different form of music that would be categorized as Ambient, Trip-Hop, Acid Jazz, Techno That show was my first introduction to artists like Tricky, Esthero, Enya, Portishead, DJ Shadow etc. I was excited for that show because of how good that music made me feel and I missed it when it was gone and I thought that I would never find something that would make me excited like that again, that is until I heard the latest from Tosca.

'No Hassle' is a nice mix of ambient chill out vibes reminiscent of those aforementioned artists, not that that’s a bad thing. Because when I pressed play it brought back those memories of watching Amp and just chillin' out to the smooth vibe that played out. It's instrumental without being too repetitive, it's jazzy without being too heavy, and it's dub without being dance. While listening I found myself going deep into a state of relaxation and calm, and that's what good music should do for the listener, take them away into a world where they can fully experience it and relax them.

A definite standout track is 'Elitsa' with its smooth melodic tone and subtle voiceovers made me feel so at ease, that nothing really mattered anymore. It was just peace and calm... me and the melody. 'Birthday' is an interesting piece, which sounds almost country western influenced and is one of the songs that actually has lyrics, good but not as great as the others. 'Fondue' is also a small misstep, a track that is a little beat heavy for my taste. But the title track 'No Hassle,' totally makes up for it, it’s a song that is so complex in its smooth and haunting melody that it demands repeat plays to fully take in its beauty.

Missteps notwithstanding, each track transitions into the next so smoothly that you’re almost never taken out of that state of calm and it allows you to truly feel instead of just hear the beat. My only complaint is that it ends so suddenly that I felt as if I was thrown out of that new world as quickly as I was placed in, but that's what the repeat button was made for right? Which I'm sure you'll want to hit on this album because like me, you'll probably want to hold onto the feeling for as long as you can.

JayTeeDee gives Tosca ‘No Hassle’ 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...

Great review! I haven't heard the album yet, but from your description it sounds a lot like a Zero 7 album. If Tosca is anything like that, I'm Certain the repeat button will be in order...

April 7, 2009 at 3:39 AM  

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