Inc.
No World


2.7
average

Review

by Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS
March 13th, 2013 | 54 replies | 3,423 views


Release Date: 02/18/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Taking power from stagnating major labels one PBR&Bstep at a time.

Since the recent emergence of electronic-influenced production techniques interlaced with R&B vocals, critics and the internet music nerd genre police alike have been quick to latch onto this evolution with some newly fabricated terminology. Alternative R&B (alternative to what?), PBR&B (whatever the fuck that even means, I'm guessing something to do with hipsters, whatever a hipster even is anymore), ethereal R&B, and troves of other vague descriptors populate the blogosphere lately but are ultimately unnecessary. While basically clumped in with this supposed new breed of R&B experimentalists, Inc. only remotely adhere to the non-existing tenets of R&Bstep, or R-Neg-B, or whatever. No World is an evident microcosm to this greater problem the critical universe experiences at large.

Yes, the opening bars of "The Place" feature a tinny snare, hi-hats, and even some atmospherically charged pearl drops. But make no mistake, the production here is traditional through and through, merely suffering variations on a theme. No World is a fundamentally solid R&B record at its core, nodding at influences from the greats as a practitioner of any trade should. "Trust (Hell Below)" could have been a Prince B-side in an alternate reality where Prince wrote generally less engaging music. It's this air of synth funk combined with early 2000s club grind that is the true sound Inc emulates - merely supported by a few modern electronic techniques and lo-fi aesthetics seemingly pilfered from How To Dress Well's Love Remains.

The real detractor to No World lies with Inc.'s horrible ear for vocal processing coupled with technique and delivery that would make an elementary school music teacher commit suicide. Album highlight "Desert Rose (War Prayer)" is nearly ruined by these miscues; a chilled out vibe builds into a busy trip-hop epilogue almost calling to mind Blue Sky Black Death in approach. But nearly all of the vocals are mumbled in such an incredible way that the English language being used to convey thought here is nearly indiscernible. Said "words" impinge on each other even further as to become indistinguishable due to an amalgam of whispered annunciation and far too much reverb on every vocal track. It's really unfortunate that Inc. hasn't been able to elevate beyond these very basic production mistakes; they give an impression that No World was either unmastered or mastered haphazardly at best.

Regardless, groups like Inc. are refreshing in the sense that they are heavily influenced by their indie contemporaries, effectively taking the torch and power away from stagnating major labels that classically gauged success on grind-ability alone. This more thoughtful evolution of R&B is simply taking over at this point, while encouraging liberal infusion of other genres and ideas that will hopefully maintain this new-found air of innovation for years to come.



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user ratings (26)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 13th 2013



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 2.7

this insightful discussion inspired my review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHHdJE7kMws

klap
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2013



10258 Comments


assuming it's a play on pabst blue river which ew

Digging: The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 13th 2013



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 2.7

*ribbon. yes it's the stupidest genre name ever... i wish i knew how it came to be

klap
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2013



10258 Comments


ribbon yeah fuck that beer

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 13th 2013



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 2.7

yeah it's probably the most popular beer here, besides grain belt premium (which i prefer by far)

sniper
March 13th 2013



18957 Comments


pbr is the worst.

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 13th 2013



23798 Comments


always the cheapest beer at any hipster dive in Vancouver. it sucks but I drink so much of it at shows.

breakingthefragile
March 13th 2013



2943 Comments


It was my Dawn Richard review that introduced you to
the PBR&B term right? lol.

I definitely agree with you on this one btw. I'd 2.7 it if
I could probably, but the best I can do as a humble
contrib is 2.5 it. But yeah, this is far too wispy to grab
hold.

Digging: Glassjaw - Everything You Ever Wanted To Know...

Buzzkillr
March 13th 2013



1541 Comments


had you already seen that vid before i posted it in the weeknd news discussion? pretty cool series, even if most of those genres are ridiculous

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 13th 2013



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 2.7

@btf - yes i had never heard it before that point. apparently it left a lasting impression!

@buzz - yes, thanks for posting. that series is excellent.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2013



3342 Comments


A medium-length review from Sobhi? Shocking. Good review, though

EaglesBecomeVultures
March 13th 2013



5192 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

straight baby thighs

Digging: Merchandise - After The End

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2013



15727 Comments


jesus christ sobhi did you seriously just use pbr&b godammit

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 13th 2013



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 2.7

read the review DOWNER

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2013



15727 Comments


cant my brain exploded

wabbit
March 13th 2013



6978 Comments


LOL


< 3

Azn.
March 13th 2013



5561 Comments


yeah why the hell are all these stupid "new" genres popping up

Digging: Trophy Scars - Never Born, Never Dead

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 13th 2013



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 2.7

b/c of stupid critics

Casablanca
March 13th 2013



262 Comments


Pabst Blue Ribbon and Blues???

Azn.
March 13th 2013



5561 Comments


that just sounds like a marketing thing
trailblazing bands pioneering "new" genres and such

I feel like people just lap that up



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