Platinum Pied Pipers
Abundance


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS
January 27th, 2009 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Redefinition is by no means a requirement of evolution.

By now, the consonant "D" undoubtedly inspires euphoria in underground hip-hop heads: unemployment drives its stake deeper into the D daily, yet through this hardship and pain, therein lies true beauty and revolution. From the layman rhymes of Guilty Simpson's Ode To The Ghetto, to the break-out release of Elzhi's The Preface, and closing out the year in grand style with Black Milk's epic Tronic... Detroit is the hip-hop epicenter of the millennium. If Waajeed and Saadiq's Platinum Pied Pipers project promises anything, it's that the D isn't done; Abundance kicks off 2009 and the new regime with no ifs or maybes.

A solid cast of lyrically-conscious (yet accessible) R&B vocalists provides the initial catalyst for this neo-soul saga. St Louis repping Coultrain croons powerfully over most tracks here, not only proving quite the legitimate follow up to 2007’s Adventures of Seymour Liberty, but stealing the show completely from the contributions of Jamila Raegan and (especially) Karma Stewart. While the ladies have their moments with impressive harmonizing under the lead, Stewart’s performance is ultimately suspect and only detracts while in the spotlight. Fortunately, Coultrain’s sense of urgency on “Ain’t No If’s Or Maybes” forgives these transgressions, merely whetting the appetite for the extraordinary (and possibly career-defining) “Ghost of Aveiro”.

While vocal performance is the mainstay of any soul, neo-soul, R&B, whatever buzz-word genre label is in effect currently, Waajeed and Saadiq’s compositions are the true nucleus of Abundance. Their penchant for taking traditional soul song structures and infusing gritty, local-flavored beats is far and away the defining factor here. This is what truly escalates “Aveiro” to epic proportions – a salsa base, amplified with enough electronics, guitar, and ambience to proclaim dynamic brotherhood to post rock – there is so much beauty here, and it is arranged brilliantly. That said, Platinum Pied Pipers feed off of each respective piper admirably. Saadiq’s tasteful guitar licks bring on a heavy dose of non-excessive funk, while his keys form a foundation for any harmony; Waajeed uses these components advantageously, weaving horn blasts and solos throughout to make a thoroughly convincing sonic landscape.

Clearly, redefinition is by no means a requirement of evolution. Platinum Pied Pipers take what has been given to them by the previous generation and forge something completely innovative. Not only is this a pleasant surprise for January, Abundance will (hopefully) be a harbinger of hip-hop to come.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
kingsoby1
Emeritus
January 27th 2009


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

special thanks to jared w dillon for pointing this out to me... i blatantly ignored this album - i have no reason why.
regardless, everyone needs to check this out... if you couldn't tell, my fav tracks are ghost of aveiro and ain't no ifs or maybes.
http://www.myspace.com/platinumpiedpipers

bastard
January 27th 2009


3435 Comments


pretty good review, sounds like something beyond awesome.

pixiesfanyo
January 27th 2009


1223 Comments


definitely a great record, but i think more in the realm of 4. Waajeed definitely brings a great, original sound to his beats... but, some of the vocals on here are extremely lame.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
January 27th 2009


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yeah, i agree that there's some genuinely dumb vocal work here... but it's very occasional and forgivable for me.

rasputin
January 27th 2009


14544 Comments


good review maybe it's time for another phase for rasputin

foreverendeared
January 27th 2009


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

or you could just keep listening to shitty doom lol no but really check this out. very solid

DFelon204409
Emeritus
January 29th 2009


3995 Comments


Checking this out now. Sounds good. You describe this differently than it sounds buy maybe that's on my expectations and not
the actual writing.This Message Edited On 01.29.09

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
January 29th 2009


2806 Comments


I dig their first album but haven't gotten a chance to hear this one. Everyone I know says it's better.

rasputin
January 29th 2009


14544 Comments


or you could just keep listening to shitty doom lol

funnily enough you listen to more doom than i do, shitty doom at that

Iai
Emeritus
January 29th 2009


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm still toying with the idea of reviewing this, don't know whether I should or not. It's definitely an original and consistent record that I've got a lot of respect for, but on a gut level it just completely leaves me cold. Like, I couldn't ever imagine a real-life situation where this album would be a good fit.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
January 29th 2009


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

it does seem like this album's been love-it or hate-it in reception (albeit not "hate", but more-so "be-ambivalent-towards"). Realistically, I felt the same about the Prolyphic record... where this has been almost the sole bright spot in a horrible rough patch for me, that record was similar for you.

gaslightanthem
January 29th 2009


5209 Comments


flu 1 kingsoby 0 right?

foreverendeared
January 29th 2009


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

funnily enough you listen to more doom than i do, shitty doom at that
haha nice. Reverend Bizarre is really the only doom i listen to though, and they rule
I felt the same about the Prolyphic record
that record has lost a bit of it's charm (if you will) for me. I just don't think his flow is as good as many think it is. It's brilliant in spots, but pretty bland in others

Gazzmatazz
February 3rd 2009


22 Comments


Muthaphucken white boys. Y'all ain't neva been to tha Crenshaw Carwash. Eva seen a ho wit nappy ass hair down to hur shouldaz while she be spreadin em thighs infront o ya pinto? Sheeiit!!!This Message Edited On 02.03.09

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 5th 2009


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

this has worn off a tad. definitely a 4 for me now.



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