Finale
A Pipe Dream and a Promise


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS
April 16th, 2009 | 36 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Midwest is on a tear, building upon legacy and refusing to wait for anyone else.

By now, it’s regarded as matter of fact in the US: the Midwest and the South are single-handedly maintaining hip-hop. If the South provides the consistency, mainstream appeal, and Billboard hits – then it’s the Midwest that’s responsible for the experimentation and aural evolution of the genre. More specifically (in order to differentiate from the also-expanding Minnesota alt-rap scene), Detroit’s Jay Dee and Proof were the original catalysts for this experiment. Tronic and a slew of other post-Dilla disciples were the first batch of by-products. Now Finale, an ex automotive engineer, takes these motor-city influences to heart, compiling an all-star cast of current and up-and-coming production phenoms. Detroit stalwarts Black Milk (“One Man Show” and “Motor Music”), Waajeed (“The Senator”), Ta’raach (“A Reason”), and Dilla (of course everyone needs one his posthumous beats these days) form the backbone of A Pipe Dream and a Promise. When coupled with dope compositions from always-impressive Khrysis and Nottz (“Jumper Cables” – and a salutary dedication from Flying Lotus, it’s hard to find any fault in Finale’s beat selection. From electronic-soaked boom-bap and hard hitting kicks to the lighter-toned jazz-influenced pieces (see the title track), the beats are simply excellent. In fact, even the majority of the relatively unknown producers deliver (especially Dimlite’s atmospheric trip-hop piece “Issues,” look out for this guy).

While Pipe Dream has a problem with continuity – it doesn’t really hit its full stride until Khrysis hits the boards on “The Waiting Game” (four tracks in) – an even more severe detractor lurks in the shadows. There are interludes. The interludes are numerous. The interludes are not separate from the songs. In short, their inclusion is interesting and educational, yet incredibly annoying due to this incorporation; most listeners will be frustrated by the required effort to press ‘next’ every two tracks or so. Regardless of these poorly-placed history lessons, Finale delivers a truly cohesive performance, dripping of Proof influence. With a punctured flow, nearly gasping while swallowing lengthy verses, this rhythmic style complements the generally syncopated production style of “Jumper Cables” (Nottz) and “Motor Music” (Black Milk) perfectly – also contributing to some of the most impressive hooks of the record. Carrying an entire album is no simple task (see The Game’s 2008 feature fest as an example of how not to market yourself), yet he’s perfectly capable, with intelligible Michigan-centric topics and impressive use of consonance in the vein of Royce da 5’9”. The only feature here is tasteful; Invincible is one of the most talented (and educated) femcees today, easily proving so on “The Waiting Game”. Finale’s been under the radar for a while now, but he returns and succeeds here, delivering yet another Detroit opus for our post-Tronic catalogs.

3.8/5 *Points deducted for interludes



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user ratings (18)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
kingsoby1
Emeritus
April 16th 2009


4951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rocks.

gaslightanthem
April 16th 2009


5209 Comments


ya this is good

this is one of those albums though where the interludes/skits draw from it's quality as a whole but nvm some very solid tracks but it drags just a little towards the end

Athom
Staff Reviewer
April 16th 2009


17224 Comments


I've been waiting for your review of this.

Album rocks.

123123

kingsoby1
Emeritus
April 16th 2009


4951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The only tracks i skip are the first 3 and the one produced by MPhazes. I'm really not confident that MPhazes can hold his weight as a producer. Everything else is sick.

gaslightanthem
April 16th 2009


5209 Comments


You're right about MPhazes production (I'm only going by the song on this), it's pretty weak.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
April 16th 2009


4951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

he had a huge contribution to the recent Emilio Rojas mixtape... unfortunately Rojas was only okay, really exposing the poor production.

gaslightanthem
April 16th 2009


5209 Comments


haven't heard it tbh

pixiesfanyo
April 16th 2009


1223 Comments


i like this record, but like his other one it just comes off kinda weird.

oddly enough the main problem with the last record was the beats not his lyrics.

i see it the other way around on this one his flow is kinda changed up and he doesn't have the prowess he did on the Spier1200 record.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
April 16th 2009


4951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i didn't really like the old record at all, pretty average tbh. this was hard to rate, cause the songs that bang are amazing, but the 4 i mentioned are pretty mediocre.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 16th 2009


20857 Comments


You know I love your reviews Sobhi, but I have an issue with this one mate. Take it whatever way you want to.

When you say "South", do you mean Portsmouth, Tasmania or Johannesbourg? When you saw "mid-west", do you mean Cardiff, Adelaide or Ivory Coast?

Do you see where I'm going with this? Basically, what do the first 2 w's of www.com stand for?

Fair enough in the summary because of the restricted space & later on in your review, but at least throw in an 'America' or 'USA' in the first sentence. It comes off a little insular and arguably "holier than thou" at present.

Yeah, so I'm anal. Otherwise, its up to your usual high standard.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
April 16th 2009


4951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Dave. It's hard to include something like that in a US hiphop review without sounding weird to US readers, but I'll try.

taylormemer
April 16th 2009


4944 Comments


Yeah c'mon man. It's pretty fucking obvious where he's referring to. Adelaide = mid-west Haha.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 16th 2009


20857 Comments


I think your edit works well Sobhi. And yeah, I know it's obvious, but I still thinks it makes a review more worldly, so to speak.

Jake, I probably should have gone with Kalgoorlie. By the way, you're gonna hate me later today!

taylormemer
April 16th 2009


4944 Comments


Cannot wait.

jrowa001
April 16th 2009


8750 Comments


need to get this.

rasputin
April 16th 2009


14555 Comments


Fantastic review.

tripleb2k
April 16th 2009


217 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

some really good songs (Arrival & Departure, Pay Attention) but some felt stale.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
April 16th 2009


4951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

man i didn't really like either of those songs. pay attention was okay i suppose.

MassiveAttack
April 17th 2009


2688 Comments


enjoy readin' your review sobhi, always need some new hip-hop recommendations

Hollow
April 17th 2009


263 Comments


Never heard anything about this artist but I like midwest hip hop(not all), might check it out soon.



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