Blu
York


4.5
superb

Review

by thekilleruser USER (9 Reviews)
March 30th, 2014 | 7 replies


Release Date: 03/26/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Full of experiments, but when it's good, it's really, really good.

BLU - York

Blu should be one of the bigger names in the rap game. This album had the potential to be a College Dropout-type refresher for hip-hop, an introduction to the underground scene in L.A. Instead, the album goes by with barely a peep, and a few votes on Sputnik to spare.

It's a damn shame.

Some background: York is a re-designed 2011 mixtape called NoYork!, which Blu handed out to fans while performing at a festival. After a deal fell through with Warner Bros. to release the album, two years went by before Nature Sounds finally released it. York is a tad shorter than NoYork!, but otherwise, no major differences.

When York is good, it is absolutely wonderful. Blu pulls a lot of experiments on this one; no one is going to mistake any tracks on here for any tracks on debut album Below the Heavens. The production is almost flawless on SLNGBNGRs, with video-gamey synths swishing from speaker to speaker until going into full-on overload mode for the last third of the song. Jimetta Rose sings a killer hook on Spring Winter Summer Fall, and Nia Andrews has an equally impressive feature on my pick for favorite track of 2013, My Sunshine. Blu also shows off his lyrical chops on Keep Pushinn: "Kissed the interviewer's hand, we weren't properly introduced / They danced through topics while skimming the truth / Skinny dipping in each other's optical visions nude", amidst a beautifully crafted piano loop.

All highlights aside, though, here and there Blu's experiments dip into mediocrity. On the otherwise so-so track Annie Hall, Tiombe Lockhart sounds like a bad Paris Hilton impersonator walked into the booth and started going at it. Blu more or less talks through Hours, and pulls easily the weakest hook of the album. Otherwise, the rest of the album fits with the overall lo-fi production, with 8-bit synths swirling all around.

Overall, Blu has crafted a fantastic gem, but a gem that has remained hidden since it's been released. One can only hope that a more popular release by him will shed this album some light.

Recommended Tracks:

My Sunshine
Keep Pushinn
Spring Winter Summer Fall
SLNGBNGRs
Doin Nothin'



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nikkolae
March 30th 2014


4867 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

such a good album, doing nothin is my jaaam

Digging: Giant - Song

WashboardSuds
March 31st 2014


5035 Comments


didn't this already get released twice before or something?

I got No York when it was first released but I heard it was released again in 2012 and now this it slightly baffles me

Digging: Sachiko M, Toshimaru Nakamura & Otomo... - Good Morning Good Night

WashboardSuds
March 31st 2014


5035 Comments


Soupa (mine's titled "Sooper Dooper U") is fucking excellent

thekilleruser
March 31st 2014


16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@nikkolae My nigga gotta liiiiiive

osmark86
March 31st 2014


4515 Comments


bout time I jammed this again

Digging: Emptiness - Nothing but the Whole

Inveigh
June 8th 2014


25116 Comments


"the album goes by with barely a peep, and a few votes on Sputnik to spare."

it got a lot more ratings when it was called NoYork! back i 2011/2012 (pretty sure the album page is still there...)

Digging: Hail Mary Mallon - Bestiary

chitownflip
June 9th 2014


173 Comments


Still don't know the difference but I love no york

Digging: Lil Ugly Mane - THE WEEPING WORM



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