Joyful Rebellion

Joyful Rebellion

5.0 2
by k-os
     
 

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Anyone familiar with the frazzled beats and rhymes of K-Os' 2003 debut should have expected an even more ambitious next step. Fittingly, Joyful Rebellion adds further colors to the Toronto-based artist's palette of both rapping and singing, and emphasizes musical flourishes that were only sketches on Exit. He begins the album as aSee more details below

Overview

Anyone familiar with the frazzled beats and rhymes of K-Os' 2003 debut should have expected an even more ambitious next step. Fittingly, Joyful Rebellion adds further colors to the Toronto-based artist's palette of both rapping and singing, and emphasizes musical flourishes that were only sketches on Exit. He begins the album as a man given the manual with which to save hip-hop. Is it from God? Angels? Aliens? Unclear. But K-Os' philosophy allows for the force to be both one and three -- a brand new trinity -- as long as that mandate serves to enrich the minds of the world and its MCs. Heady stuff. But it's brought with engaging passion from K-Os, and his hybridized musical backgrounds point the rap form in intriguing directions. "Emcee Murdah" laments artistic stagnation and crass commercialization over acoustic guitars and a chorus break straight out of Arthur Lee and Love; the wiry reggae of "Crucial" examines similar themes, and suggests that contemporary hip-hop's populist plateau has separated from its once-vibrant root system. One of K-Os' most interesting positions on Rebellion is how conscious he is of keeping hip-hop pure even as he experiments. The clattering snare loop of "B-Boy Stance" is straight out of New York City at the dawn of the 1980s. But there's restlessness even as K-Os embraces hip-hop's birthing elements. "It's so hard to remain authentic," he muses over the cut-up intro, which makes his B-boy stance as much comforting haven as it is throwback. Likewise, his collaboration with en vogue Canadian indie songwriter Sam Roberts is qualified. "[I] don't want it to be the 'rock song'," he says in the liners for "Dirty Water." Maybe it is -- Roberts' warm electric guitar wraps around the jumpy electronic percussion, and the vocals cross fluidly between singing and rapping. But K-Os' hand-wringing isn't necessary, as "Water" is one of Rebellion's most succinct moments. Other highlights on the record include the pulsing, hoo-hooing nod to vintage Michael Jackson (the unfortunately titled "Man I Used to Be") and the crackling beats and swirling strings of "Love Song" ("Chaotical ambiotical fluid/The rap druid that's fluid..."). K-Os doesn't necessarily pursue Rebellion's themes far enough. But give him a break -- it's only the cat's second album. His genre meshes and organic raps do keep the conversation about hip-hop's revitalization open, and that's what's really crucial.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/21/2004
Label:
Astralwerks
UPC:
0724386479723
catalogNumber:
64797
Rank:
110179

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

k-os   Primary Artist,Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals
Sam Roberts   Vocals
Sarah McElcheran   Trumpet
Dave Williams   Synthesizer,Keyboards
Chris Plock   Saxophone
Lil' Jazz   scratching
Michael Olsen   Cello
Kobe James   Bass
Mike Olsen   Cello
Maury LaFoy   Bass,Upright Bass
Dave "Soulfingers" Williams   Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ
Malik Worthy   Rhythm Guitar
Sarah Slean   Piano
Burke Carroll   Pedal Steel Guitar
Chris Gestrin   Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
Michael Owen   Cello
Richard Toby Peter   Bass,Percussion
Greg O'Shea   Electric Guitar
Karen Graves   Violin
Kathleen Kajioka   Viola
Ray Garraway   Percussion,Drums
Jim Gawne   Guitar
Jeewon Kim   Violin
Russell Klyne   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Nelson Milley   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Santosh Naidu   Percussion,Tabla
Kenny Neal   Bass,Guitar,Drums,Bass Guitar
Carla Ottens   Announcer
Theresa Ottens   Announcer
Vancouver String Orchestra   Strings
Whitby Quartet   Hand Clapping
Kamau   Rap
Toby Peter   Bass Guitar
Colin Robinson   Drums

Technical Credits

Kevin Edmonds   Producer
Babyface   Audio Production
k-os   Programming,Producer,drum programming,Audio Production
Greg O'Shea   Producer,Audio Production
Nick Murray   drum programming

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