Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip
Angles


4.5
superb

Review

by Adam Knott EMERITUS
November 24th, 2008 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Frequently breathtaking and occasionally perfect.

When kids start bands, they inevitably spend their first three months copying their favourite group word for note for beat. Gradually, they usually edge towards other influences from their CD collection and maybe end up being half decent, but their first influence usually stays prominent somewhere in the formula. My point is that some people, through their obvious musical talent, affect the next generation despite not being particularly groundbreaking. Scroobius Pip is such a person, but something worries me about his work on Angles, because somewhere at the back of my mind all I can hear is wannabe poets sighing and proclaiming that there's no point writing because they will never, ever be as good as him.

but I've realised that love is all we have in common/and deep down you know that's true
but then surely that I'm still in love with you means there's something we can do


Dan Le Sac, the other half of this duet, the man behind the beats, is good too, and evidently this project wouldn't work without him. There may be a market for intelligent, occasionally political, always witty rap, but there is much less demand for recorded spoken word poetry. Case in fact: Letter From God to Man samples Radiohead's Planet Telex in what is not just a sonically clever move, but also a conceptually valid one too: Scroobius Pip's lyrics mourn a world devoid of values and tolerance, and Planet Telex is equally pessimistic in a somewhat similar fashion. Of course, knowing that just makes you feel like you've understood an in-joke, but it's still a fairly nice feeling.

thou shalt not use poetry, art or music to get into girls' pants - use it to get into their heads

The album is riddled with gems in word form. The introduction to The Beat That My Heart Skipped is an a capella musing about the state of music - popular music in particular - and its pandering to 'demographic's. In fairness, the album's first track deteriorates from there onwards and becomes monotonous (and probably too long). It's also the worst delivery on the whole record, and although the lyrics aren't half bad, they don't quite live up to the quality you can find elsewhere. The storytelling here is top-notch, and tracks like Tommy C and Magician's Assistant have serious statements, the latter being a lament about self-harm which proclaims 'this just affects you/it's your life, your body, your sister, your parents, your friends, and your partner, so you can choose what you do' behind heavy distortion and a haunting, blunted piano riff.

whether it be greed, lust or plain vindictiveness, there's a level of malevolence inside all of us

Other stand-outs include Angles, which builds gradually and explodes in the final verse, documenting a young person's suicide and the different perspectives of everybody involved; the last refrain of 'things in life aren't always quite what they seem, there's more than one given angle to any one given scene' is shouted with venom and conviction and the heavy, forceful beat behind Pip's voice just drives it home with even more guile. The important thing about Angles is the obvious chemistry between the wordsmith, Pip, and the beat-layer Le Sac, and the way the music almost always compliments the lyrical content. Where it doesn't is usually where the album trips up. For every realisation of genius (like how the repetitive nature of the beat behind Thou Shalt Always Kill deliberately contradicts a line damning the same type of music) there is an awkward rhythm, like Rapper's Battle, or an anti-climax, like the droning Back From Hell.

so there's a weight over me and I'd hate to have to leave, but in fate I don't believe, and the state of you and me isn't great as you can see - so I'll keep thinking this through

That said, the filler here is negligible and even the lesser tracks have enough to say to merit their inclusion on this LP. Closer Waiting for the Beat to Kick In swerves and amazes at every corner despite its lack of structure, and cements Pip as a truly intelligent man. The piano-led hidden track is genuinely beautiful; there are moments here that will make your jaw drop and even more that will make you think. Granted, it's not perfect, but hopefully it will bring poetry to people's ears, and good poetry at that. People who haven't heard this album at least once are, in my opinion, living slightly less complete lives.



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user ratings (55)
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
AtavanHalen
November 24th 2008


17927 Comments


Definitely not as good as your other reviews, but still far better than the other one for this.

Knott-
Emeritus
November 24th 2008


10197 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just had to review this; it loses absolutely no replay value over time, and never fails to astound me.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
November 24th 2008


3768 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hm, I really disagree, this album is pretty fun, but the flash and slickness lose their shine after a while. Listened to it heaps when it came out I haven't in months. This Message Edited On 11.24.08

Knott-
Emeritus
November 24th 2008


10197 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really?

There's only one track on here that I skip - and I listen to it near-daily - and that's Back From Hell. The closer in particular is so powerful.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
November 26th 2008


4950 Comments


dan le sac is okay, but i dont think i'd like this much.

John Paul Harrison
November 26th 2008


1014 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dan le sac is amazing on this album. each beat is completely unique and sounds nothing like the ones that came before it. i think he's mastered both the vintage-drum-kit thing and the slicker techno/club vibe, so yeah go him.

scoobius pip is also pretty amazing. sure there's pretentiousness all over the place, and rhyming the periodic table of elements is retarded. but the personality, man! jesus.

Knott-
Emeritus
November 26th 2008


10197 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thousandth comment like^

i saw them at my union two weeks ago with kid carpet, pip was absolutely hilarious and so talented. their cover of push the button was fantastic.

cirq
September 27th 2009


9264 Comments


this is some good stuff

PoodleRapist
February 9th 2010


254 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

great beats, but the vocals come across as so self righteous and pretentious, it gets annoying after a while

gabethepiratesquid
March 31st 2012


4521 Comments


This album is pretty bad. Only song I really like is Thou Shalt Always Kill. Scroobius Pip's bad attempts at being poetic or "deep" or having some kind of message are always barf-inducing.

gabethepiratesquid
March 31st 2012


4521 Comments


but then again that's typical UK hip-hop in a nutshell.

AtavanHalen
March 31st 2012


17927 Comments


oh shut up

gabethepiratesquid
March 31st 2012


4521 Comments


You know you're a cool guy but literally about 50% of your comments (in general) are "you guys are idiots" "oh shut up" "god you're so stupid" or something along those lines with no explanation. I mean I suppose everyone likes a vague sense of superiority over the internet but you can do better, you're cool.

AtavanHalen
March 31st 2012


17927 Comments


you're annoying and you have no idea what you are talking about

gabethepiratesquid
March 31st 2012


4521 Comments


See? There's a good start! That's still really vague but BABY STEPS!

AtavanHalen
March 31st 2012


17927 Comments


my mistake

you're really annoying

gabethepiratesquid
March 31st 2012


4521 Comments


See now you're just regressing.

but I bet you wish you knew that before you hit on me on Facebook teehee.

Fckdfromthestart
October 5th 2012


21 Comments


Letter from god to man is insanely well written and awesomely true, A very intelligent song that should make people think a bit more about religion.

undertakerpt
November 5th 2012


1317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tommy C made me have something in my eye



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