Review Summary: What a breath of fresh of air we have here.
"if you want it, don’t waste those minutes; get it, live it, until it’s finished."
Tonight has been a slow night, and browsing through albums on Bandcamp seemed like an ideal way to spend my precious time. Let's face it; I had no idea what I was about to subject myself to when I clicked on the enticing album cover of Sims' "Bad Time Zoo". Interestingly, the album was located under the "Indie" category. I had no expectations of anything spectacular, because, well, if it's good enough, Sputnik would have had a fit about it already, correct?
Eh, not so much.
As odd as that is. The crisp production, contemplative lyrics and substantially catchy hooks undeniably should draw attention, and that is why this review is in front of you. "Bad Time Zoo" is a monster of an album, a smorgasbord of terribly catchy beats that leave the listener ravenous for more.
And this is no simple task; Sims has a lot to say, with fourteen songs containing all types of intelligible lyrical aphorisms the listener can indulge in from the very first listen, whether it be regarding the ridiculousness of the content of other rappers, or even political contentions.
"You didn’t buy the tape and plastic, still copped the panic; You switched it up, now you’re buying all organic, screaming save the planet-
but you won’t even save your neighbor, dammit."
However, one of the most refreshing things about the album is how versatile it is; the frantic, uptempo trumpet-laced track "Burn It Down" forms a strikingly powerful juxtaposition with the metronomic chug of "Sink of Syncopate". There are many styles of music here, bursts of jazz interlaced with thick bass thumps, even dense, atmospheric backdrops, and it doesn't hurt that the album possesses a terrific production job, where every intended note can be heard, as well as every subtle vocal fluctuation. The vocal flow is ridiculously cohesive, and none of it feels forced, which is a problem found too often in the world of hip-hop. Every word, as well as its placement, seems to be part of a master plan concocted by Sims himself.
This album is recommended for those that appreciate music itself, for although it is essentially a hip-hop album, its jazz and soul influences gather to form a pleasant hybrid, one that music junkies such as I should be pleased with. After all, the main objective that Sims is striving for is to have a good time, which is reflected in the final lyrics of the album.
"Come on now, come on now; dig it up, hands in the ground; everybody get down."