Friday, 16 November 2018

The Underachievers "After The Rain" (2018)

I was dead excited to see this in my inbox. Rap duo AK & Issa Gold are two bright sparks among a young generation of rappers. Their dark and esoteric Cellar Door - Terminus Ut Exordium was a distinct introduction to the duo however opening half of Evermore - The Art Of Duality has become a favorite a frequent back to. Its lyrics of overcoming struggle and rising up hit me hard. We get a little of that youthful wisdom on the opening Downpoor as the pair exchange themes of changing the world with positive metal attitudes in the face of a materialistic world that can consume a person.

After The Rain has been an enjoyable, reasonable listen where the instrumentals define most talking points. Lyrics circle the waters, recycling familiar topics with a lack of hard hitting lines as the vocals are mostly linear expressions with less wordplay than I would of liked. The production sounds expensive, a step up that might be sideways. It elevates their sound to a crisp, glossy tone that's a tad over polished, squeaky clean samples and drums come close to peaking in a vivid construct.

Its all mostly warm, bright and sunny sounds. A lot of colorful, jazzy and soulful instrumentation with a crisp punchy audacity. A plethora of guest singers gives many songs agreeable choruses with powerful, harmonious singing that steers in a pop appeal direction. Nightmares & Dreams, plus a couple others too, push it a little to far with the broad allure. When either of the two are not on the mic, it can be an unrecognizable sound with guests flexing their prowess with some beautiful singing.

Its a hard record to be dismissive of, The Underachievers pack a lot of powerful, potent empowering lyrics in the run time for a warm, uplifting listen. The instrumentals aim high, a very crisp production with some fantastic Jazz Hop beats. All the pieces are in place but something in the chemistry is just missing something. Perhaps it lacks some urgency or struggle about it. Everything is just to neat and nice, so its hard for any truly memorable songs to emerge. It lives in the shadow of their former works.

Favorite Tracks: Downpour, Let It Rain
Rating: 5/10