OK, let’s get the obvious over with first: this is a hip-hop album and so therefore it’s 19 tracks long, and even though 63 minutes doesn’t sound too much to handle I assure you it feels a lot longer. Nevertheless the first album in 14 years by Vast Aire and Vordul Mega (those names are worth a space on this list on their own) is near masterful in places, wonderfully atmospheric and sounding not unlike a Wu Tang Clan record that’s especially shot through with underlying sadness. The lyrics sometimes jar the carefully created sense of drama (‘These girls like Frankenstein/They got fake hair, fake nails, and monster behinds’)- and really guys? A Yoda sample??- but ‘Blade…’ is sporadically fantastic
‘Fun’ Fact: Cannibal Ox’s last album was released the same day as ‘Celebrity’ by *NSYNC
‘Masterful’? ‘Masterful‘?? Come on! You can’t mean masterful! I absolutely can! ‘The Fire Rises‘ is as masterful as they come!