10 July, 2012@2:14 pm
Del is an emcee whose persona transcends the indie underground where he has resided for a number of years. He and his Hieroglyphics cohorts have been able to make the career decisions they have wanted to since being dropped from their major label deals nearly twenty years ago. With creative control intact, Del has been able to collaborate on diverse projects (Deltron, Gorillaz, etc.) and avoid pigeonholing himself over the years. On his latest, he teams up with production unit Parallel Thought for an album that finds his lyricism complemented by a strong musical backdrop.
Del has never been marred by weak production; in fact Domino, Dan The Automator, and others’ tracks that he has spit over have been quite competent in producing beats that fit his lyrics properly. Parallel Thought, the unit that produced the Parallel Uni-Verses album with him and Tame One, provide a consistent musical landscape that allows Del to perform his best on. Soulful, funky, and jazzy tracks are abundant on Attractive Sin, and Del shines brightest on this type of production. From “On Mommas House” at the beginning, to “Front Like Ya Know” at the ending, Del brings a freestyle flow filled with the abundance of personality that he has always displayed.
Parallel Thought and Del are a good fit for one another; however there are some issues with some of the songs on the album that standout upon repeated listens. A handful of the beats would almost be better served as strictly instrumental tracks, because with so much going on in the beat, it sometimes takes away from Del. The previously mentioned “On Mommas House,” while being a strong cut, ends up having musical changes, horns, and other noise that end up making Del sound like the track was all done via file sharing. While this is often the way of modern production, patching an emcee over way too much background instrumentation can become a hindrance. Think of what could have happened to Paul’s Boutique if The Beastie Boys and The Dust Brothers hadn’t perfected the album’s engineering.
Despite some of the issues with these more complex musical arrangements, the album is still a fresh, fun, and fulfilling listen. Hopefully more collaborations between the two parties will come down the pipeline in the future; it would be sinful for them not to hook up again.
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