Thursday, December 19, 2013

A brief review of Black Milk's "No Poison No Paradise"

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, MC/producer Black Milk is so underrated (and talented) it's not even funny. In fact it's quite the understatement. I own two of his albums, 2007's "Popular Demand" and 2008's "Tronic", both of which are excellent albums. I'm just finding out he dropped his debut in 2005 (Sound Of The City) and I have to check that one out. I have heard "Album Of The Year", which came out in 2010 and that was very good also. This newest release, "No Poison No Paradise" almost came out quietly, plus one of my homies John "KJ" Evans recommended I put out a review as well, so without further delay..........

Release date- October 15, 2013

All songs produced by Black Milk except one


"Interpret Sabotage" is a good opener, featuring a nice hook by Mel, definitely a good way to begin this album.

:Deion's House", produced by Will Sessions,  clocking in at 2:33, is somewhat brief but dope. I really liked Sessions' drum rolls on this one. The song reminded me of "Steel's Apartment" from Skyzoo's "A Dream Deffered" regarding the storytelling vibe. In what is possibly the album's best song, the oddly titled "Codes and Cab Fare" is pretty good. Black Milk delivers a nice verse, but as usual when it comes to guest appearances, Black Thought comes in and completely steals the show (can we PLEASE get a solo album, even after all these years). The tone I immediately got from this album is that it's very different from his previous three albums, but not in a bad way. In addition to the aforementioned three songs, "Sonny Jr. (Dreams)", featuring Robert Glasper and Dwele, while an instrumental per se, is very nice with its laid back, neo soul style vibe (my lady would love this one) and "Dismal" are good, as well as the interrelated "Sunday's Best" (this finds him talking about being somewhere other than church, but it's not meant as a form of disrespect) and "Monday's Worst", the latter of which has some, if not all, of the activities of the previous day mixed in. I liked the continuation here, even though it seems like the events themselves would actually be taking place in reverse, in terms of the days.

As far as the rest of the album, it's pretty much hit or miss. "Black Sabbath", featuring Tone Trezure, almost seems out of place, "Ghetto DEMF" featuring Quelle Chris, is good lyrically, but the beat is a little too experimental, even for Black Milk. "Parallels", featuring Ab, may not come off like your standard "song for the ladies", but at this point, once you've heard a song like this, you've heard them all.

Right off the bat, this album cops a solid 3.5 star rating from me. It's a step down from "Popular Demand", "Tronic" and even "Album Of The Year". This time around Black Milk is more aggressive and experimental, which is quite different when you take his previous albums into consideration. There's nothing wrong with going in a different direction, but it shouldn't affect the overall quality of your work.

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