Search - Latyrx :: Album

Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Latyrx
Title: Album
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Quannum Projects
Release Date: 8/20/2002
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
Styles: Ambient, Trip-Hop, West Coast, Experimental Rap, Pop Rap
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 681940003322

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CD Reviews

The Very Meaning of Originality
withthebeatzwiththerhymez | 05/25/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

There is genuinely no hip-hop album, group-wise especially, that sounds like Latyrx's seminal debut, "The Album." Produced mainly by DJ Shadow, Lyrics Born, and Chief Xcel, the onslaught of originality begins with the title track, where Lateef the Truth Speaker and LB rhyme different verses simultaneously, and continues on "Balcony Beach;" a veracious exploration of the troubled mind.

Although both emcees spend a considerable amount of time battling - see "Live," "The Wreckoning," and "Off With Their Heads" - there is more than enough substance throughout. "Bad News" decries the devilish past time of gossiping, while "Burnt Pride" blasts all that is traditional and institutionalized. On "Aim For The Flickering Flame," Lyrics Born urges listeners to "day after day now with the rigorous training, face the pain, but with a disciplined brain;" speaking to the positive ideals of hope and aspiration.

The album's pinnacle, "Burning Hot," is a blazing, hold-onto-your-hats whirlwind through the daily "ritual" of live performing: "Mumbling my whole rhyme, and re-rehearsing my lines, hummin' tunes on the solo, so the voice is a minute, no gimmicks, just hyped from the start to finish / wondrous night, beats thunderous us, lightin' it up," Lateef boasts.

Criticisms, meanwhile, come few and far between. "Burnt Pride" rambles on to the point where the listener may lose interest, and the group's breakthough hit, "Lady Don't Tekno," is noticeably absent. The album's wildly experimental edge also limits its utility to strictly headphone listening.

However, these minor flaws are beside the point. With "The Album," Latyrx arguably gave birth to the post-millenium "nerd rap" genre, fathering the styles of Buck 65 ("Balcony Beach") and Sage Francis ("Latyrx") in the process. And out of fourteen tracks, seven are undeniable classics. Cop this album to own a piece of hip-hop history.
Mutant hip hop?
J. Holmes | yokohama, japan | 10/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"when i first bought this at the store, the clerk, who was a friend of mine, told me before i listen to this album that i needed to forget every preconceived notion of what hip-hop is...this would ensure maximum enjoyment and appreciation of the kind of daring and bold style that Latyrx are pulling off. i took this cd home, listened to it. felt nothing. played it again and again and i became more and more compelled and drawn to it every time i played it. it's flow is really really unique and special. it has such a warm, splashy feeling, and the production is all over the place...scattershot with live instrumentation, almost no sampling, and a very songlike structure to most of these pieces. the whole thing has a sort of jazzy feel, but very weird and experimental in the way that it is all executed. a very unique expression in the world of hip hop (i'm not even sure that i should label this as "hip hop", but...). apparently, this album has found it's place as a bit of an underground classic, and for good reason. this is a record worth exploring over and over again. it's content's value reveals itself the deeper and deeper you go."
You Can't Oppose This.
Gobbles | Earth Capital | 11/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When I first became acquainted with Latyrx and listened this album through, I was very surprised that I had never heard even a single one of these tracks before; that Latyrx's reputation wasn't more widespread.
Lord knows they deserve it, because just about everything on here is pure brilliance! and it's stunningly original as well.
Like many other listeners, I was initially most intrigued by the use of simultaneous raps on the opening track. This is still the only example of rapping used almost purely as a sonic tool I've heard, and (I'm tempted to say) luckily so, because, I can certainly envision a project like this failing horribly in the hands of anyone else than these truly masterful, stylish mc's. Naturally, a lot of the credit must also go to the producer - the mighty DJ Shadow, who had, at the time 'The Album' came out, just finished the legendary Endtroducing... and was in the midst of what most people would propably call his golden years.
"Latyrx" remains the most experimental piece on here, but the entire album has the same highly avant-garde feel to it. Shadow produces several tracks on here along with Lyrics Born himself and Chief Xcel of Blackalicious, and I have to say that all of it is top-notch work - they clearly intended to create something truly ahead of the curve with this album. From the gloom-funky, wobbly foundation of the opener, to the lazy, almost soul-ish, but equally intriguing Lyrics Born solo rap "Balcony Beach".
What really makes the album for me, though, is Lateef ("the thruth-speakin' MC!). This album was the first time I had ever heard him on anything (he has come out with shamefully little material, and none of it showcases his awesomeness better than "The Album", but check out Maroons: Ambush too), and after casually listening "The Quickening" through on my way to school or whatever, in my headphones, I had, what can only be described as an epiphany. This track, backed up by DJ Shadow's best-ever (!) faster-tempo hip hop beat, Lateef rants and spits elastically over the fast-paced head-bobbing production, and his almost fluid, liquid style is complimented beautifully by a guitar figure sample, also serving as the hook. Anyway, I can't quite put my finger on what it is that makes a track like this so special, all I can recommend for everyone is to somehow obtain and experience it.
To be completely honest, the clear highlights of this album are the first two tracks - but the sheer quality, ambition and outstanding skill behind these masterpieces is enough to get the overall work rating to 5 stars."