Sims
Bad Time Zoo


4.5
superb

Review

by Jacob R. STAFF
March 4th, 2011 | 42 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

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."



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Sims’ Bad Time Zoo is in many ways a continuation of these things we have come to expect and love ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2011


10302 Comments


Stream-

http://sims.bandcamp.com/album/bad-time-zoo

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2011


23923 Comments


"Dark Time Sunshine Vessel
Sole and the Skyrider Band Plastique"

intrigued

Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2011


10302 Comments


Sims = Sole
Bad Time Zoo = Dark Time Sunshine

amirite?

Inveigh
March 4th 2011


25025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice review, I've had a half-written one for this sitting on my comp for about two weeks now lol

this album definitely rules. the albums you recommended as comparisons are on point for sure, but anything else by Doomtree (P.O.S., Cecil Otter, Mike Mictlan etc) are good recs too.

I may have to adjust my review's concept a bit (if I ever finish it) to make sure it's not redundant to this one. love the whole man vs. technology concept here; this album's actually been in the making for over 5 years.

needs more love (i.e. Best New Music, get on it Mods)

Inveigh
March 4th 2011


25025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

also, check out his first album Lights Out Paris, it rules too

BigTuna
March 4th 2011


5161 Comments


sims is MUCH better than sole imo

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

Hawks
March 4th 2011


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I should probably listen to this.

Inveigh
March 4th 2011


25025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah I agree, Sole is so spoken-word influenced that it makes him hard to listen to at times

BigTuna
March 4th 2011


5161 Comments


exactly

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2011


10302 Comments


Inveigh- thanks for the positive feedback! Honestly, the smarter thing to do is work on a review over time. Make a review; I'm sure it'll be great with the theme you mentioned.
And about Sole, I haven't ever thought about it that way. Honestly, I never enjoyed Plastique all that much; the atmospheric production of it, though, reminds me of this album.

Inveigh
March 4th 2011


25025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah I used to always rec people Sims' first album when they said they liked Plastique and asked for stuff similar so I definitely agree

lancebramsay
March 5th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've had this album for several weeks but haven't given it a listen yet. I think IMAKEMADBEATS kinda killed my hip-hop mood :/

Definitely will be giving this a spin in the near future. Pos'd

BigTuna
March 5th 2011


5161 Comments


the reason i like Plastique is the awesome production; i'm not a big fan of Sole as an mc

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2011


10302 Comments


Thank you lancebramsay! Definitely give this one a spin when you get a chance- it sounds like something that you should enjoy.
And BigTuna, I feel the same way. Bait and Black were massive songs because of the production, but I find it hard to pay attention to his vocals much of the time.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 5th 2011


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I disagree with the Sole/ DTS comparison. Technicality, content, and production are just completely on a lower level. The production here is a lot more soul influenced and smooth (not really my thing).

It's not bad by any means, but nothing special... which I find with almost all of the Minneapolis scene except POS. I would definitely compare this more to POS, but not as good.

DoubtGin
March 5th 2011


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

does this rock as much as POS?

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2011


10302 Comments


Thanks for the input, kingsoby. You likely have more experience in the realm of hip-hop than I; I'm relatively new, late to the party although present because of Dark Time Sunshine and Kanye West.

elephantREVOLUTION
March 5th 2011


2774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i really like this album, but i wish some of the songs were a little longer. i feel like one dimensional man would be even better if there was one more verse.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2011


7375 Comments


I might give this a try

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 6th 2011


10302 Comments


That's interesting, elephantREVOLUTION- I haven't really encountered this problem, although I did notice that many of the songs are close to the same exact length.
And do it, man!



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