Sadistik
Flowers For My Father


4.5
superb

Review

by Matthew D. French USER (50 Reviews)
June 23rd, 2013 | 29 replies | 2,491 views


Release Date: 02/19/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Tricyclics with an SSRI just might fix this mix of intense hard times.

I’ve reinvented myself more times than I care to count and each one is a little less beautiful than the last, which leads me to here - to now: the culmination of every moment of my life. And I want nothing more than to tear every piece of my flesh off one by one to show you what’s been hiding underneath, because these are the flowers for my father.

The above is a spoken word excerpt from Cody Foster (Sadistik) lamenting his late father in the opening song “Petrichor,” and it sets the stage perfectly for the rest of his introspective masterpiece, Flowers For My Father. For Foster, Flowers For My Father is a deep excursion into his past, finding himself confronting his deepest problems in a cathartic display of release that’s all at once disarmingly personal yet wholly relatable for many. Having suffered the loss of both his father and dear friend, Foster has been inspired to write his best and most emotionally engaging material yet (and likely his tour de force) whose themes revolve around the loss of loved ones, deep regrets, depersonalization, drug and alcohol abuse, and trying to overcome one’s demons despite all of this emotional turmoil - things some of us are all too familiar with. However, while it’s somewhat disconcerting to hear his words set to the music here, optimism is somewhat central to the album’s theme.

Despite the pessimism and self-deprecation, Foster tellingly shows signs of personal growth and reconciliation in songs like “Michael,” where he vows not to dwell on his friend’s loss: “But I won't dwell inside the ends/And that's not what you would want, you would tell me “Find connections to the world” and to tell it my confessions/The hell that I invest in is a part of something bigger.” Here, it becomes obvious that Flowers For My Father is so much more than a personal statement -- Foster is trying to reach an audience with whom he can relate these emotions. That isn’t a bad thing though; he isn’t really making music to cater to some fanbase, and he’s made it overtly clear that criticisms regarding his lyrical content are of no concern to him. He even makes a scathing remark to critics on “The Beast” about this very subject when he says, “I got lectured on the matter that my topics are myopic, non-sequitur and scattered/”He uses big words, complex with all the patterns”/But maybe it’s for me and not you!” He uses music primarily as a form of expression, not some verbal wankery meant to impress. Not that anyone should ever think that in the first place. I mean, he’s only 24, yet his verbal skills emulate that of hip-hop’s most iconic artists. He raps verses with effortless ease, establishing a truly commendable flow and air of confidence through his words. But Flowers For My Father has far more to flaunt than lyrical content.

The music throughout is absolutely sublime and oft times hauntingly beautiful. “Petrichor”’s aforementioned excerpt is backed by a very powerful, memorable guitar-driven section near the end, making it a strong contender for song of the year; “Melancholia” is a mastery of ambiance and choral work; “The Beast” is chock-full of evocative string arrangements, keys, and female backing vocals; and “Seven Devils” is a perfect encapsulation of Foster’s struggle ridding himself of his demons - it’s also inarguably his most epic song to date. And everything else is honestly just as good, albeit a little bit more on the atmospheric side (which may or may not work for you depending on what you’re looking to get from this). The only real detractor is the surprisingly commonplace “Snow White,” which seems to interrupt the overall flow and atmosphere of the album, despite having some of the fastest, most technically interesting verses on the album.

Foster’s growth as an artist from 2008’s The Balancing Act is honestly astonishing. Flowers For My Father has the perfect balance between deep, emotional content and accessibility and is surprisingly engaging and catchy, despite how atmospheric it is. The subject matter he’s dealing with here has bolstered his confidence and made him a force to be reckoned with in emotional hip-hop music, and as a result, this is one of 2013’s very best records. At this rate, we can expect great things of this young artist.

I set to write a portrait, not emotional confessions
This is spring cleaning for a closet full of bone collections
I’m not alone, the monochrome is so infectious
But I won’t regret it if I follow all my own directions




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user ratings (233)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Caleb C. (4.5)
For his father; For himself....

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That rarest of rap records, displaying a human vulnerability often masked in hiphop and intricate ly...

Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS (4.3)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Gyromania
June 23rd 2013



15187 Comments


going to start reviewing more for sputnik. it's been a while, so hopefully i'm not completely useless now.

SeaAnemone
June 23rd 2013



19682 Comments


this sounds like something I could get into
is it heavily dependent on getting involved with the lyrics though (given the heavy subject)? or do you think it can be enjoyed on a more superficial level alone, ie more just the production, ambiance, hooks, etc

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

Gyromania
June 23rd 2013



15187 Comments


i think it can be appreciated for its production if you can't personally connect with/relate to the lyrical content. check this out: https://soundcloud.com/kpollock16/05-the-beast

SeaAnemone
June 23rd 2013



19682 Comments


I just mean for me, personally, I have a hard time appreciating any hip-hop based largely on lyrics and was wondering if this was dependent on them but yeah, I'll check that out

Gyromania
June 23rd 2013



15187 Comments


oh shit, just realized this is my 50th. yikes

hard to say if you'll like it. if you can manage to find the songs 'melancholia' and 'russian roulette' then i'd advise listening to those, as they're on the atmospheric side.

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
June 23rd 2013



7019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think the lyrics are a huge part of this but honestly you're gonna want to get involved with them and they're always really understandable and easy to follow so they're kind of easy to appreciate even if you don't normally focus on them in hip-hop.

JS19
June 23rd 2013



4155 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Amazing review - although everyone seems to think this is a 4.5 so I didn't think we needed another 4.5 review but you made it stand out so props to you. Album's great as well.

Digging: Sadistik - Ultraviolet

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
June 23rd 2013



21574 Comments


I'm more into his flow than either the production or the lyrics

Digging: Septicflesh - Communion

Butkuiss
June 23rd 2013



4106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Still my favourite release from this year.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2013



9977 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

although everyone seems to think this is a 4.5 so I didn't think we needed another 4.5 review


Glad you qualified this!

So happy to see a review from you, Matt. We could use your writing around here, especially considering you typically rep albums I enjoy! ;] This album's only so enjoyable to me though, and I think it's because I don't think his vocals are strong enough to hold the album's weight. "Russian Roulette" is stunning, though.

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

ComfortablyDumb
June 23rd 2013



394 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Russian Roulette is one of the weakest tracks on here though. Cage's verse feels super phoned-in.

The Beast, Seven Devils, and Melancholia are the highlights for me.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2013



9977 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Is that a common opinion on this album? If so, huh. Honestly, I enjoy the production more than anything else on the track.

Scoot
June 23rd 2013



17677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

best rap of '13

Digging: Unjust - Glow

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
June 23rd 2013



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i seriously hope not

Gyromania
June 23rd 2013



15187 Comments


cheers gents

fish: really? i figured you'd like this more for production value than sadistik's flow.

omaha: much appreciated. i'm with you that russian roulette is one of the best. for some, i see the emceeing being the biggest problem - that and songs sounding kind of homogeneous at first. it took me a solid 4-5 listens to really come around to this.

aids: don't be a hater!

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
June 23rd 2013



21574 Comments


flow has always been the main thing I look for in hip hop. production is important too, but I can't
like it on its own, and lyrics are nothing without the rhythm that feeds them. Anyway I'm not too big
on the production here, it feels a bit watery.

Gyromania
June 23rd 2013



15187 Comments


fair point. what songs on here do you like? i figured most people would probably love the beast for all its keys and beautiful orchestration, but apparently not.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
June 23rd 2013



21574 Comments


the first three are my favourite

the beast is alright but the spoken intro makes me cringe a little

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
June 23rd 2013



21574 Comments


stuff with clams casino in it is an exception. often he upstages the rapper

Gyromania
June 23rd 2013



15187 Comments


spoken intro? the girl singing?



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