Saturday, June 20, 2015

Feel Good Music by Drew Mantia

     Although the summer has just seemingly gotten under way, there has been far too few bona fide albums released in the past few months from the growing yet covert world of indie hip-hop. This is a hard pill to swallow, because summertime should be laced with good vibes and even better music! However, all hope is not lost, for Drew Mantia, the extremely creative and talented producer from Chicago, may just be changing the course with his June 15th release, Feel Good Music.

     Feel Good Music is a project which is entirely produced by Mantia and features a plethora of artists rapping and singing all over his canvas of beats. This type of album (if done correctly) opens listeners to an array of new artists and displays the producers talent and versatility as he/she works with a wide variety of styles and personalities while creating a cohesive piece. Having said that, let's dive into the inner workings of this fine record.

     In terms of the production, Feel Good Music is exceptional. Mantia has an awesome talent and sound, that blends smooth instrumentation with innovative synth notes. Not only that, but he didn't use any samples on this record, and in today's world, there's something to be said for that, as it forces the producer to be creative and imaginative, which Mantia clearly is. The sound Mantia provides listeners with, is a predominately slow paced and modernistic style of hip-hop which is hard to define, but there really isn't much like it, simply because it has so many layers. In fact, there really are no apparent flaws when it comes to the production work, so kudos to Mantia for that.

     That being said, the best track Mantia produced on Feel Good Music has to be "Send It Back." This song has a mellow groove the and serene tempo, but when the hook kicks in, so do the perfectly placed organs and it sounds absolutely wonderful. There are a number of standout tracks when it comes to the beats, but this one took the cake in my book.

     Moving onto the vocals, Feel Good Music, as stated previously, features a large number of artistic personalities, though, the ones featured on the album all seem to have similar sounds. This made for a very cohesive listening experience, and it gave off the image that this album was actually by one massive group, rather than tracks from a singular producer featuring individual artists. The lyrics from the artists are kind of sporadic, but they're not the cliche' rap topics by any means. There aren't any bad or poor features on Feel Good Music, but there were some that didn't have the strongest showing, namely Hologram Kizzie who fit the thematic sound of the album, just didn't have the best lyrical showing, and two of the tracks feature solely her. 

     However, some artists that really stood out, are Rebel Legato, The Palmer Squares, Ross Augusta and Bruce Bayne. All of these artists elevated the album to the next level and they had some very strong appearances. The all-around song on this album is "My People" which featured Rebel Legato, Angel Davenport, and Jon Arrington. What made this track so good was the blending of styles. There was a very hip-hop hook, soulful singing, and a beat that had elements of gospel music in it. Truly a well put together track in all regards.

     Feel Good Music is the embodiment of summertime. This is a fun album that has a lot to offer. It is a bit of a lengthy listen that tends to drag slightly towards the end, but even then all of the tracks flow well together. All in all, Feel Good Music is exactly what the title claims, and at the end of the day, what more could you want?

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