Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Saul Williams - The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!

I first heard Saul Williams on the Blackalicious track "Release" off their "Blazing Arrow" album. Honestly I loved it. I found his spoken word style very affecting and evocative.

"The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!" is his 2007 album, produced by Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails. I just stumbled across it yesterday (it's available online for only $5 USD).

It's pretty different from what I expected. There's not as much rapping or spoken word as I expected. In fact, most of the vocals are (sort of) sung (a bit like some of Cody Chesnutt's more incoherent ramblings). A couple of tracks still have that really powerful spoken word delivery I love ("Break", "Scared Money", "Skin Of A Drum"), but most of the other stuff isn't like that. In fact, most of the spoken stuff is kind of wailed and stylised... quite different to what I heard on "Release".

The production is pretty intense, but if you're into NIN or El-P etc, you will probably get into it.

The biggest surprise for me was his cover of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday". This actually sounds pretty awesome. I would not have thought it, but the track is rocking.

I've only listened to the album pretty briefly, but I might throw up a quick review once I've listened more closely. You can download it using the thing below. It's only $5 USD, so it's pretty low risk if you ask me!

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