Oneirology refers to the study of dreams, a theme explored throughout The Cunninlynguists fifth LP of the same name. A loose knit concept LP, Oneirology finds the southern-underground crew in their most focused form yet, traveling into the dark territories that only dreams and rap music can offer.
Produced entirely by Kno, the album’s pace is handled excellently as each song bleeds into the one right after it. Many listeners won’t pick up on the subtleties of Kno’s well placed samples, such as “Predormitum (Prologue)”, which teases a classic B.I.G. verse, only to literally lead into “Darkness”, at which point the dream has taken shape. This brooding vibe carries throughout much of the record, excellently manifesting itself in both “Hard As They Come (Act 1)” and “Murder (Act 2)” – two back to back songs in the same key (another subtlety) – where Deacon, Kno, Freddie Gibbs, and Big K.R.I.T. ponder the meaning of death at their hands.
Kno’s sound is as ethereal as usual, using 60′s folk vocal samples, slow burning drums, and heavy, atmospheric basslines. Much like early Dungeon Family records, his production takes the listener into the abyss, as Deacon paints steam-of-consciousness pictures on tracks like “Shattered Dreams” and “Starts Shine Brightest”. The crown jewel is the topic at hand itself, “Dreams”, as Deacon and crew claw at a blurred barrier of waking life.
Phenomenally produced and soulfully rhymed, Cunninlynguists have done it again with Oneirology. While it did take the crew a while to settle in on a defined membership and style to call their own, at this point they have easily carved out their niche and are filling it perfectly. Finally earning their respect in the rap game, Oneirology is the group’s dream defined.
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