Nicolay & Kay - Time:Line CD
|Following up his 2006 album ''Here'' with Houston MC Kay Jackson, Time:Line takes on the difficult task of a concept album starting from birth to death, with indistinct production and loose storytelling about a nameless soul's journey into the afterlife. Drawing upon inspirations from the 70's and 80's and heavy on soul and synths, Nicolay has always set the tone of his work in a more mature fashion. It almost fits so well with the entire album that I'm still not quite sure what to make of it, but it's a positive experience from beginning to end and not a melancholy cliche. Featuring guest contributions from OhNo, Myth and S1 (Strange Fruit Project), Stokely Williams and more.
|2.||Blizzard (feat. Toby Hill)|
|3.||The Lights (feat. Myth / S1 / Nicole Hurst)|
|4.||Through The Wind (feat. Stokley Williams)|
|5.||What We Live|
|6.||I've Seen Rivers|
|7.||Tight Eyes (feat. Oh No / Luv Bugz)|
|8.||As The Wheel Turns|
|9.||The Gunshot (feat. Chip Fu)|
|10.||Grand Theft Auto|
|11.||When You Die|
|12.||Dancing With The Stars (feat. Soulfruit)|
Dancing With The Stars (4 Stars)
, March 26, 2008
- See all my reviews
This is only my second exposure to the up and coming Dutch producer Nicolay. If it weren't for Little Brother's Phonte teaming up with Nicolay on "The Foreign Exchange" album in 2004 (classic material), I would have never paid him any attention. Nicolay has one of the most diverse styles in the game today. When compared to other Justus League producer 9th Wonder, Nicolay's sound runs on a wider spectrum of styles, though is still settling in mostly 70s soul & jazz horn-heavy melodies. Though the inclusion of electric guitars, raggae and excellent keyboard sections adds greatly to the overall production.
Kay is a very good rapper, and adds a matching soulful flow to compliment the production. With that said though, he isn't quite spectacular enough to call this record a classic...as the production over powers his skills. Standout tracks include the guitar driven "Blizzard", the atmospheric "The Lights" with simply soothing background vocals from Nicole Hurst; "Through the Wind" boasts one of Nicolay's most infectious beats and Kay adds some excellent lyrics to match. The horn-filled "What We Live" stands out nicely. "The Gunshot" tackles raggae styled production excellently with the Fu-Schnickens' own Chip Fu making an appearance. "Grand Theft Auto" is also one of my favorites here, which features some of Kay's best lyrics.
On the whole, Nicolay & Kay turn out an excellent full-length virtually free of flaws. In all honestly, Kay is the reason this doesn't get the 5-star rating from me, since Nicolay's production is classically banging throughout. Simply put, Kay is no Phonte. Even still, don't let that deter you from checking out one of the best hip-hop albums of 2008.