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Spiral Walls Containing Autumns of Light
     

Spiral Walls Containing Autumns of Light

by Divine Styler
 
Arguably the most undeservedly ignored hip-hop release of the early '90s, Spiral Walls is a mind-blowing, astonishing album that glitters like a dark jewel, equally nightmarish and astonishingly beautiful. Regardless of the work Styler did before or since, here he completely resisted categorization throughout -- and even more amazingly,

Overview

Arguably the most undeservedly ignored hip-hop release of the early '90s, Spiral Walls is a mind-blowing, astonishing album that glitters like a dark jewel, equally nightmarish and astonishingly beautiful. Regardless of the work Styler did before or since, here he completely resisted categorization throughout -- and even more amazingly, he did so on a disc released via a major label, thanks to über-manager Irving Azoff's Giant Records. Quite what Azoff thought he was going to get is a mystery for the ages, but what he got can't be summed up easily at all. The best description ever given is "Parliament/Funkadelic meets the Residents", and even this doesn't hint at the sheer range and ability on display. Though he works with a great band -- guitarist Jeff Phillips, bassist Tony Guarderas, and drummer Kendu Jenkins, none of them slouches -- Styler is the undisputed center of the album. He produces and arranges everything, feeding his voice through any number of production tricks, able to sweetly sing, MC like nobody's business, and essaying spoken word pieces with unsettling, dramatic power. Funky rock jams, delicate acoustic folk, industrial noise beats, freeform electronic weirdness, and more collide and recombine throughout -- one can never accurately predict what will be around the corner. As for what Styler has to say, it can be everything from over-the-top raging alienation, as on the harrowing "Love, Lies and Lifetimes' Cries," to evocative, heartfelt praise and love for Allah. "Walk of Exodus" is one fine instance of the latter, as is the simply lovely "Width in My Depth," his voice, gentle percussion and Phillips' ringing guitar as pure and wonderful as it gets. Spiral Walls in the end is the album Prince could only wish to make in the '90s -- all-encompassing, spiritual, disturbing, and never, ever boring, a true lost classic.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/17/1992
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0075992444422
catalogNumber:
24444

Tracks

  1. Am I an Epigram for Life?
  2. Touch
  3. In a World of U
  4. Love, Lies and Lifetime's Cries
  5. Livery
  6. Grey Matter
  7. Heaven Don't Want Me and Hell's Afraid I'll Take Over
  8. Mystic Sheep Drink Electric Tea
  9. Width in My Depth
  10. The Next
  11. Euphoric Rangers
  12. Walk of Exodus
  13. Aura

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