Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Moka Only 'Lowdown Suite 2: The Box'

The best kind of art is concept art because it allows the viewer to invest into the work that the artist is putting out there. The audience gets to think outside of the box and connect on a deeper level to the full work rather than just glossing over it and moving on to the next thing. It's built upon an overall theme constantly adding new layers upon itself and in the end both the artist and the audience can be satisfied with the outcome. Even if in the end you may not like what's been presented, you at least can find satisfaction on taking the journey. Unfortunately, Moka Only's latest 'Lowdown Suite 2: The Box' is not a concept album because if it were then I would have at least found some satisfaction from listening to it.

Before I continue, I want to say up front that I don't necessarily think that this is a bad album, in fact it's quite good, it's just not for me. Maybe that's a biased attitude considering that it's no secret that I'm bored with 95% of so called hip-hop that's being passed off as good music these days. The drawback of The Lowdown Suite 2 is that sounds like it's trying to be a concept without actually having a theme. It's a disjointed, unorganized piece of work that does not offer any single compelling point that holds any interest. It's the type of music that plays in the background at the bar; you kind of hear it but you don't listen, you don't recognize it, and eventually you go up to the DJ and ask him to please play something else because the sh*t is starting to get on your nerves.

And it didn't help that I was in no way familiar with Moka Only before the album came across my desk. I assume he is considered "underground" or "backpack," which is a drawback within itself. Sometimes when you are stigmatized and for lack of a better term
boxed into a certain group you can sometimes internalize that and eventually start acting like that is what's expected of you. Unless that is actually how you are. What I mean by that is, Moka Only sounds like he's trying to be underground and outside of the box rather than sounding natural. Like it's trying to be different on purpose instead of by design. I listened to this album 3 times and I still don't know what the hell he's talking about. And by virtue its making this sound like a harsh criticism instead of a cohesive review. But maybe its me, I just don't get it, and that's fine too.

Musically though the album is constructed very well, the production on the album is top notch, layered in some tracks with a nice slow hip-jazz soul vibe and on other tracks it goes up tempo and almost electronic but you can definitely nod your head to it, that is until the rapping starts. However, there is one track on the album that actually compelled me enough to actually pay attention 'Drip, Drop' which was featured here a couple weeks ago. It's a very nice and mellow piece dedicated to romanticism and love. Of course a large majority of my enjoyment is due to the guest star Kissey Asplund, only because I'm in love with her on some Steve and Laura type ish. But I digress...

I would still recommend checking out 'Lowdown Suite' because there is something out there that I'm sure folk would like about it, but it was not enough for me to connect with. Because I believe that the music should connect with the listener. So give it a shot and see for yourself, but I for one am not feelin' it. "If I don't like it I don't like. Don't mean that I'm hatin'' © Lonnie Lynn

JayTeeDee gives Moka Only 'Lowdown Suite, Vol. 2: The Box” 4 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.

Purchase Moka Only 'Lowdown Suite, Vol. 2: The Box from Amazon


Blogger Supreme said...

That's a shame. I really liked the first Lowdown Suite.

June 5, 2009 at 1:09 AM  

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