Hip Hop has changed, like all music it evolves over time, and for many fans of the golden/90s era the change is not embraced. Being a 90s fanatic this record gives me faith in its direction and makes me wonder where other acts like these are at. So who are The Underachievers? I have no idea, I picked up this record after hearing about it from the Needle Drop. With this being a modern record I was keen to listen in the hopes of finding something interesting and fresh, and this certainly was to my ears.
When it comes to rapping in Hip Hop its taken a backseat in recent years to the beats, and this record is no exception. AK & Issa are no rap gods, but there not half bad either, they both have a similar approach with fast and fluttery flows that can drift in and out focus with comprehension being a struggle at times. Either its the recording or mixing, or a bit of both, but at times it can be a bit fuzzy. At the same time their vocal style and recording really plays to effect when its done right, with the two dropping some decent verses in places. When it comes to hooks they know what they are doing, theres plenty of catchy ones throughout.
What makes this album shine for me is the beats, and in a way the production too. It's far from being a finely tuned and polished record, theres many muddy moments and inconsistencies, but it all works for effect. The sample selection is choice, accompanied by choppy momentous hi hats, crisp claps and snares and a subtitle bass presence, they build some great tunes with a fresh feeling about them. From track to track this album moves through many moods, from dark and paranoid (Chysalis) too uplifting and ethereal (Felicity), it keeps the listen enjoyable with much variety on display. This is a very enjoyable record!
Favorite Tracks: Luminescence, Caprice, Incandescent, Metropolis, Quiescent, Felicity