Saturday, August 30, 2014

Indie Music: Vision the Kid & Tru "Somewhere in a Dark City"


by Germar Derron

I thought “Macklemore and Ryan Lewis” before I ever saw a picture. I think that’s a good thing.  In a world where the name Macklemore is tossed around in reigning king conversations, this could work. Throughout the album (Somewhere in a Dark City), the good and bad components remained consistently good and bad. 

Vision the Kid is a versatile lyricist.  That’s all I want for Christmas and most other days of the year.  I love Eminem, L.L., Tupac, Lauryn Hill, and even Fresh Prince because on any given track, album, or day they might sound like a different person. Fortunately, all of those persons are dope. VTK is not there yet, but “there” is a possibility.

Everything on the album, outside of VTK’s lyrics and delivery, is fairly problematic. Tru is a good producer, but this just may not be a match made in heaven. The album reminds me of standing in an Arizona club on "Yeezus and Hov Night."  The music was hot, but we all stood there looking around like, “what do we do.”  You can’t really dance to that, and it’s difficult to get a good bounce going. So, I stood in the corner with my girlfriend and a couple of other girls, yelled the lyrics I knew and moved awkwardly.  I wouldn't bump Somewhere in a Dark City at a party, and maybe not in my car – that’s a problem.

Like much of indie music, the hooks here are bait-less.  The best hook may come courtesy of Lizzy Fontaine and a beautiful guest vocal on “All Goes Away.”  I thought “Sunday Morning” was easily the hottest track at that point in the album, but then the hook happened . . . . 

“Lucky You” seems straight from the Macklemore playbook.  It contains one of the best choruses, and some serious instrumentality. 

This album may fit the genre too well. The best thing about indie music, is hearing the rules break, and the passion pour out . . . the true artistry. Here, that’s lost a bit. This sounds like the offspring of any major label smash hit, and every underground sound of the last 20 years. It’s a recap, where I’d prefer groundbreaking and groundbreaking feels possible.

“Roll Call” reminds me of a young D12.  I hear it and see friends on a corner passing a mic.  This isn't “Control” or even “Forever.”  It feels more like a crew and one that’s better than any I've heard in a while.

While the album didn't blow my mind, I wouldn't mind adding it to my iPod.  I’d give it three of five stars.
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