CD REVIEW: The Higher Concept - Everybody
By Cyrus Rhodes - 07/25/2012 - 12:33 PM EDT
Artist: The Higher Concept
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Rap/Hip Hop
Sounds Like: Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, Flo Rida, Timberland, Nelly Furtado, Bruno Mars
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 7/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: Everybody, Everything is Everything, Running Away, Smile
Weakness: Cover Art Concept and Marketability, Winded Songs
The Higher Concept from New York City is an interesting project that consists of 3 MC’s IB, (Matty J and tekst) whose groundbreaking new full length release entitled Everybody: includes packaging that uses the Sgt. Pepper Motif.
The CD takes off with “Everybody” a catchy intro piece that serves up hooky hip hop rhythm, against grand slam chorus and passionate vocal presence. This first is quite invigorating as it flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. Track 2: “Everything” keeps things moving with impressive rhythm guitar painted against heartfelt vocals and infectious groove. Track 3 “Change” shifts gears slightly with its methodical intro, heartfelt chorus and compelling lyrical content. The CD makes a great first impression dishing out 3 solid songs in a row. As this CD slowly unfolds I can hear influences like Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, Flo Rida, Pink and Timberland and even a touch of Nelly Furtado and Bruno Mars. I would classify this music as a catchy combination of Hip Hop, Rap, Alternative Rock and Power Pop with a New York City flair. The musicianship, vocals, rap flows, production touches and sampling is clearly above the bar. Along the way you will notice lush tidbits with things like impressive Piano, Guitar, luch Harmonies, a few impressive solos built upon a think as a brick rhythm foundation. The vocal presence from everyone is impressive. All songs are extremely well crafted, catchy and consistent across the board and cover allot of musical ground. From my personal favorite “Running Away” to heartfelt “When It’s Over” to uplifting “Smile” to thought provoking Raindrop” to rocking “Up To Me” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 14 This is For” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
The SGT. Pepper Motif is cool but it can be a double edge sword. From a marketability standpoint it lacks originality and may rub some people the wrong way as "The Higher Concept" don't even remotely sound like the Beetles. Why is this such a big deal? Well The Beetles were so big using the motif is a rite of passage mostly as some may consider this to be Rock n' Roll blasphemy - lol. case in point The Beetles will always be the biggest Rock band in musical history - period! At the end of the day I think using it is a bad decision. All songs over 3.5 minutes drag you to the finish line. I don’t care for the multiple singer line-up. It lacks continuity track to track and at times doesn’t even sound like the same band.
From start to finish Everybody by The Higher Concept is an impressive collection of music. The music is highly original, thought provoking and just plain entertaining to listen to. In many respects this project is light years ahead of it’s time and is comparable to a Melting Pot of musical flavors. The songwriting – impressive, all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really weak piece on this entire CD. The writing, singing rapping and playing abilities of THC are rock solid. The melodies are well crafted and the lyrical content is packed to the hilt with brilliant messages.
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