Album Review — Revolutions Per Minute

Revolutions Per Minute is the latest effort by hip-hop phenoms Reflection Eternal.  For those not in the know, Reflection Eternal is comprised of renowned produced Hi-Tek teamed up with master MC Talib Kweli.  Revolutions Per Minute is best classified as a concept album, and it retains purity by eschewing over the top characters and outlandish costumes. Reflection Eternal attempts to get political in this album, and although some jabs hit the mark, others like a line comparing the bankruptcy of our economy to the emptiness of our Twitter accounts prove to be more laughable as opposed to inspiring revolution.

This album does allow for a unique synthesis between Hi-Tek’s production prowess and Kweli’s underground lyrics.  At moments, this partnership yields solid beats with high production value while at others it falls short considering the deep level of talent between these two artists.  The catchiness and consistency is there in most tracks, however, it is sorely lacking — especially on the album’s initial numbers.  Most saliently, the song Midnight Hour has the production value of what would have been seen a decade ago, and it fails to seamlessly incorporate the Latin grooves it seeks to predicate itself upon.  Kweli is at his peak on the album on tracks like So Good and In The Red where he allows his natural playfulness emerge.

Songs including Got Work and Strangers best show off the collaboration between these two artists.  Strangers features guest rapper Bun B who excoriates contemporary institutions including insurance giant AIG.  Get Loose also features a guest performance by Chester French conveying his take on the classic Zombies tune.  The bottom line is that the main theme of “revolution” fails to encapsulate itself within Revolutions Per Minute, and the goal of spurring the pitchforked masses into action is a bit of an over-reach.  Nonetheless, fans of Hi-Tek and Kweli will enjoy this collaboration and no doubt look forward to the follow up call to arms issued by Reflection Eternal.

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