Friday, April 11, 2014

Another Day in the Life of... by Bop Alloy

     Prior to its release, Another Day in the Life of... was the focus of an extremely successful kickstarter campaign by Bop Alloy which more than doubled it's original goal of $7,000. This campaign generated a lot of buzz around the hip-hop community, and now the hype can rest, for Another Day in the Life of... by Bop Alloy has finally arrived.

     Comprised of lyricist Substantial, and beatsmith Marcus D, Bop Alloy has always had a distinct sound within the hip-hop universe. This exclusive sound is a mixture of  heavy jazz influenced beats, live instrumentation and soulful rhythms that listeners can groove to. Bop Alloy knows that they're doing something different, and they know it sounds great; this release simply solidified that idea. 

     Marcus D may be one of the most underrated producers around. He creates truly beautiful sounds using live instruments and in some ways, his style is hard to be categorized. On this album, you will hear some of D's smoothest work. Something that always sounds amazing in hip-hop tracks(when used correctly) is a horn section. A good horn section on any track can lift its greatness to unthinkable heights. This is done time after time on Another Day in the Life of... and as a matter of fact, there is one song titled "Saxophone Jones."

     Along with a solid horn section, Marcus D also incorporates the piano into his tracks. On many of the songs, the keys are subtle and act almost like a bass guitar as they hold the rhythm to the sound. To be clear, I'm not trying to break down the production of Marcus D to a science, as I am not an expert in his field. I just want to stress the amount of detail and complex layers included his unorthodox boom-bap beats. Not to downplay the vocal work by Substantial by any means, but the production on this album stole the show and took the term "jazz-hop" to a new meaning.

     Let's talk lyricism shall we? Now I've been on record as stating that Substantial is one of the best all around emcees you'll hear, and I stand by my word. His resume speaks for itself, so no sense in giving his background; just know that the guy doesn't have bad lines...ever! After listening to each track a countless number of times in search of a line or lyric that is below Stan-dard (pun intended) and that was to no avail. 

     To say that this project holds Substantial's best lyrical work would be a bit of a stretch, but he does fit each and every beat on this album exceptionally. The togetherness and fellowship of the vocals and the production make this album such a good listen, and once you start the album you will be wanting to play it all the way through.

     There is no real standout track on the album. This isn't the commercial type album where it would have two or three big singles and a host of decent supporting songs. This album is meant to be played in full and none of the tracks would fit into your pre-made playlists as this album is truly a playlist of its own. This album is either a hit or miss. I think if you know about Bop Alloy, Substantial, or Marcus D, then you will love this project. If you've never been exposed to these artists then it may take time adjusting to such a peerless project. Just get the album, and let me know your thoughts by commenting below.

*Also check out my interview with Substantial, where he talked on this album, the kickstarter campaign, and upcoming projects!

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