Review Summary: The fire rages, through the night, flame is contagious but the heat feels right....
Throughout listening to Cavalcade
it would appear that Milo has learned a thing or two about song structure from his new friends in Hellfyre Club. In previous releases what constituted a song was one part cloudy beats and one part rapping which rarely played off of each other or even acknowledged the other’s existence. This created a strange feeling where you felt the songs were competent but lacking in a certain something that would make them complete. With Cavalcade
, Milo corrects this and a few other issues without sacrificing what makes him such a draw for fans of alternative hip-hop. The songs here feel whole, with a tangible progression that pushes them beyond the near gimmicky status of his previous works.
Along with the all-around improved songwriting the other major positive change implemented in Cavalcade
is Milo’s lyricism. The man’s lyrics on the whole have a unique aspect of being easy to hear, hard to decipher, with plenty of niche references which distinguished him immediately from his contemporaries. The trap Milo fell into, especially with his dual EP’s released earlier this year, was the references, while undeniably cool and relatable to most twenty-somethings, were too much. It got to the point where the pop-culture innuendos seem to be a crutch he used instead of writing actual lyrics and it hurt those releases as a result. Cavalcade
tackles this problem in the best possible way, simple restraint. Milo has always had a knack for obtuse lyrics conveying subtle (and not so subtle) messaging hidden within and he really shows it with this release. The references are still there and just welcome as ever:
“When I roll up on my
When I roll up on my
When I roll up on my zephyr
Like I was son of Goku, Gohan
I swear my frame has too many photons…”
The new focus on original lyricism with the cutback on pop-culture hits not only helps Cavalcade
feel genuine but can only cement Milo’s reputation as one of the better lyric writers out there. However, as previously mentioned, the other problem remedied by this release is the cohesion of rapping and the music and the music is very good. Milo’s production remains at a high level as his quirky tastes shine through and marry with the equally quirky rapping wonderfully. Cavalcade
experiments with gratuitous sampling both successfully and otherwise. When incorporated into the song like the perfectly used snippet of “Horse With No Name”, the sampling works. There are other times however when the samples are either too long or seem tacked on. “Ba al Chiliagon” showcases both what’s wrong and right with Cavalcade
. The 54 second sample of Mr. Perfect (non-panda-loving WWF)doing his thing gets old very quickly and doesn’t really add anything to the song but once the actual song starts, it ends up being one of the best on the tape. While it’s the most traditional cut compared to the rest of the tape, everything from the lyrics to the infectious hook and back-up choir is superb. Not all of the songs have such a striking dichotomy as “Ba al Chiliagon” and for the most part utilize the sampling or vocal distortions tastefully.
Milo is at his best here with Cavalcade
. His shift to a more cohesive brand of songwriting serves to highlight both his lyricism and production much more so than previous releases. His repping of his newly found brethren in Hellfyre Club can be taken both out of love as well as gratitude as his popularity, songwriting prowess, and potential have increased with Cavalcade
. Anyone looking for some lyrically dense rap with silky smooth beats in tandem can do little harm in checking this out.