Review Summary: Still red-hot from the release of the critically acclaimed 'Vessel', Dark Time Sunshine show that they are not content with resting upon their laurels.
Dark Time Sunshine are on a roll. In the beginning of this year, using production counter to the region DTS calls home, the northwestern group crafted an album that merges compelling lyricism with beats comparable to the giants and classics of modern day ‘indie rap’. Vessel essentially shot Dark Time Sunshine to the top of most hip-hop 'best of 2010' lists, if not the best albums of the year. Yet with 2010 coming to a wrap in little time, Dark Time Sunshine show up once again to show the scene that they are not quick to rest on the laurels of the praise and accomplishments of their discography and have released yet another album in no time at all, Cornucopia.
There is certain catch factor that makes Dark Time Sunshine such a joy to listen to in your headphones, speakers, whatever way you listen to music, and Cornucopia is not absent in that. The catchy beats, the thought-provoking lyrics, all tied together by a wonder delivery by emcee Ludwig makes Cornucopia just as exciting to listen to as Vessel. Starting off with the eerie, nigh-science fiction inspired beats of the opening track ‘Gigantic I Rep
’, Dark Time Sunshine continue on the success of Vessel with yet another helping of cleverly crafted rhymes. It is one hundred percent apparent that Dark Time Sunshine have not lost any of the momentum that their debut started; Cornucopia showcases the flow of emcee Ludwig and producer Lair to a clean shine, a crisp offering of ten tracks that carries the torch of Vessel towards the new year. To be honest, it’s quite surprising. While most rappers in the same scene as DTS would be content to wait two, maybe three or more, years to release another new album, or just continue to release mixtape after mixtape, Dark Time Sunshine seem to be bursting out the seams with musical creativity and integrity by the fact that Cornucopia not only stands as an entirely separate album outside of itself, but holds tracks that don’t seemed rushed, carelessly put together or blandly re-done. While the album doesn’t truly start to take off at around the half-way point, individual tracks like ‘Visitor
’, ‘Jump For Joy
’ and ‘Planetarium
’ bleed emotion, flow and swagger comparable to any of the tracks of their earlier album. ‘Blood Stained Thrones
’ is a superb track, featuring emcees Sapient and Xperience, that marries both west and east coast style mic play, all pulled together by mid-west style production. While this may seem like a mess on paper, it’s truly remarkable of the chemistry and compatibility that emerges from this wordplay.
Yet, while Cornucopia is an exemplary album on its own, it doesn’t offer any new ideas for Dark Time Sunshine. The fact of the matter still remains: it has only been mere months since DTS’s latest album, so the fact that while some tracks on their second album stand up to Vessel, Dark Time Sunshine still sound stylistically and sonically similar to their debut, frustratingly so unfortunately. Yet it can’t be helped, Cornucopia could be considered Vessel part two, but given the time between albums, it will not be counted against Dark Time Sunshine in any major sense.
Ludwig and Lair are clearly talented emcees and producers. Their star shines so bright that they bleed potential. Cornucopia could be seen as a literal metaphor to the two as a hip-hop duo. Bursting out with a cornucopia of beats, ideas and musical integrity, Dark Time Sunshine show that they are not content with resting on their laurels and craft an album that continues upon the success of their prior releases, further cementing their legacy and name throughout the indie rap scene. Other emcees and producers alike, please take note…