Sole and the Skyrider Band
Plastique


4.5
superb

Review

by Vegeta of Nazareth USER (21 Reviews)
December 14th, 2009 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The commanding lyricist finds a dynamic arrangement to finally demand your attention.

Sole has always been a back ally genre-mutt of a rapper and this was seen back on his solo albums and his electronically experimental 'mantsbestfriend' alias. But contrary to the most popular hip-hoppers today who spit out rhymes about popping champagne or the medallions they have anchored 'round their throats, Sole (birth name Tim Holland) chooses to stick to the more indiscriminate topics. He dwells in the books he reads, the branding of music critics, society's desperate dependency on technology, or how he's a white man wanting to be black. Whatever the case may be, he treats the topic with the utmost respect and is consistently able to shoot out a few dozen lines designated to said topic with top-notch fluency and social awareness.

That's what we see on Plastique: a hailstorm of brilliant lines backed by rhythmically resourceful beats that borrow from a vast cluster of genres. The stomping "Bait", for instance musically stands alongside trip-hop icon Massive Attack where the track applies a muffled and hazy backdrop in an attempt to emphasize Sole's tongue-in-cheek lyrics. You'll get probably the most discernible verses of lyrics in "Children of the Privilege" whose approach turns more glitch oriented after generating a hung-in-the-air atmosphere and creates a forewarning introduction to an album that will soon turn into a gallery; Sole's every random thought connected by webbings of the Skyrider Band's intangible grooves. He starts by sarcastically knocking on society's reliability on technology, "Who am I? Lost my GPS... / Only my phone can find me / Only Pitchfork can judge me..." You can practically picture Mr. Holland escaping from civilization's strong hold to join Chris McCandless in the solitary wild.

"Nothing Pt. 2" undertakes the seemingly lost hip-hop notion of every-man-for-himself survival in poverty and drugs: "Nothing's gonna peel the paint / Nothing's gonna save your health / This song's about nothing, 'cause nothing's gonna love you back / And nothing's gonna pay your rent". This isn't Holland speaking from the deserted halls of his past or an old Biggie song; Plastique came about after his 2 year exclusion from the technical world in the woods of Arizona. His struggles are more likely summed up in the lyrically entertaining as well as musically dynamic "Longshots" where he regrets, "I started diggin' my grave at age 15 / My work won't be done until the head shiner / I'm diggin' ditches from here to Barcelona..." and the drums eventually pound into a rocking beat before giving up to a mellow outro. The excellence continues in the foot-stomper, "Battlefields" (which features Markus Arher from The Notwist). The track paints itself in the colors of both the current state and aftermath of war, lurking slowly like a fallen warrior that's later killed off and mourned by an acoustic guitar.

Plastique, while running short into 9 tracks, is an emphatic entity that will surround your head rhythmically and lyrically. Enhancing their debut with a more assembled command and overall spirit, this is an album that can build monuments of icons not yet seen by the popular hip-hop artists of today. Even while his mission from day one was to use the art of rapping for personal and social relevance, Sole has finally landed a blow strong enough for the majority of us to pay attention. The only downfall his latest release holds will be it's short duration time for such a substantial idea and such consistent potency in its fabrication.

Especially Recommended Tracks:
Battlefields
Longshots
Nothing Pt. 2
Mr. Insurgent



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user ratings (87)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS (4.5)
If only Raekwon delayed his newest another year, Plastique would be sitting on top of all of 2009's ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
PuddlesPuddles
December 14th 2009


4787 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I know, I know, 4.5 and everything but I already wrote this out for my blog sooo what the hell

Mordecai.
December 14th 2009


8279 Comments


nice review. I like this, but it's sitting at a 3 - 3.5 right now.

cvlts
December 14th 2009


8968 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

holy sh*t good review.

album is great!

kingsoby1
Emeritus
December 15th 2009


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

good review.

this isn't getting nearly enough props for end of year listing. so far i think Nick (butler) and I are the only staffers that rated it high... the rest dont even have it in their top 25 for some weird reason.

PuddlesPuddles
December 15th 2009


4787 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm a sucker for these types of stuff
I'm trying to get my hands on Blackout Sands but no luck

Any recs like these besides Sole, sobhi?

Thanks, guys!

Phantom
December 15th 2009


8930 Comments


Ugh keep forgetting to get this, I know I'm missing out.

Inveigh
December 15th 2009


25025 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album, and good review too. One question though -- which song is about him being a white man that wishes he was black? Just curious, because I never picked up on that.

moonlapsevertigo
December 15th 2009


29 Comments


usually don't listen to much rap/hip-hop but this stuff is actually pretty good. The lyrics are actually good too.

PuddlesPuddles
December 15th 2009


4787 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Inveigh, I actually think it was in his work under Sole. I said that when I was just briefly talking
about the things he rapped about in general not yet with the Skyrider Band. I'm pretty sure it's on
Selling Live Water. The line made me laugh


Phantom - Uhhhh YEAH, man!

Inveigh
December 15th 2009


25025 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^cool cool, I've been meaning to check out some of his solo stuff. Gotta get the first disc with Skyrider first though

kingsoby1
Emeritus
December 15th 2009


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

you guys really need to listen to the first Sole/Skyrider joint, the remix record of it, and then check out El-P's work if you haven't already. Fantastic Damage and I'll Sleep When You're Dead are both classics.

Inveigh
December 15th 2009


25025 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have I'll Sleep When You're Dead, I like it but I wouldn't say I love it. Although it's been awhile since I listened to it...

I gotta get through Funcrusher Plus then I'll go with Fantastic Damage.

Next paycheck I'm going to amazon.com and ordering that older Sole + Skyrider disc.

BobbbyLight
December 16th 2009


65 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I really tried to like this. I do enjoy Sole, but the musically backing left a lot to be desired. I think there were some good ideas that didn't get carried out as well as they could've been. OK album, didn't like it as much as the reviewer.

PuddlesPuddles
December 17th 2009


4787 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The backing music is what drives this over the edge for me
It's pretty much as dynamic and charismatic as Sole

Keep tryin' to listen though

Niceinvader
December 24th 2009


773 Comments


JW is this anything like Themselves?

kingsoby1
Emeritus
December 24th 2009


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

way better imo. i don't really like themselves much.

Niceinvader
December 26th 2009


773 Comments


Really? Well I need to check this out then.



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