Thursday, April 24, 2014

Symmetry & Shade by Allen Poe

     Big news in the indie hip-hop world came by way of Symmetry &Shade by Allen Poe and producer Moteleola. This three track EP captures the emotions of a new relationship (Symmetry) followed by the downfall and demise of the relationship (Shade). This EP is a project I didn't see coming, but the end result was surprisingly good.

     Allen Poe has been featured on The Under-Cover Album Review a number of times, and while he continue to grow as an emcee, his sound and style stay relatively the same. He is a "lyric first" rapper and that stays true on Symmetry & Shade. Poe often will have a single line or two that will somehow connect with you and really make you love that song. Each person's favorite line will more than likely differ, but my favorite line from him on this EP was "take no false steps like Goonies on pipe organs."  This line just flashed me to that great scene in The Goonies and it's always fun to hear a line that brings out actual memories and emotions. 

     Allen Poe does a fairly decent job at presenting the theme of the album, previously mentioned. His flow isn't the best one you'll ever hear, so it may take more than a singular listen to the tracks to follow the story line. Poe still keeps to his realm of familiarity on terms of the cohesive sound of the songs, but for him, it works so there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

     While Poe has been featured on the site a number of times, his site appearances are eclipsed by London producer Moteleola. His sound varies based on the project so his versatility isn't in question. He has beats that are for upbeat hype songs, and beats that are fine tuned for a lyrical emcee to rap over; Symmetry & Shade bears the latter. 

     The beats are smooth, sample infused, and a twist on a traditional boom-bap style beat. I wouldn't call this his best work, but it is still gratifying. The samples he used on the tracks do add to the tracks theme which is an underrated quality. While Moteleola has definitely produced beats similar to the three we hear on this EP, he just didn't seem to have anything that will really blow you away. That's not to say the beats are bad, because they're certainly not; just that they all sound very comparable and some listeners familiar with his past work may be disappointed to hear he doesn't do anything extravagant on the EP. Again, the beats are not bad at all, they are beats you would typically hear on a lyrical rappers album, and none of them really stood out. 

     While, you may not have expected to see so much writing on three tracks, you can expect some good music when you download this EP. It's a release that both artists can add to their vast catalogs and hopefully this brings a full project from the duo. Poe has set sound that Moteleola complimented with his production. The two should definitely work more together and maybe try something in previously uncharted waters. Get this EP and tell me what you think! 

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