Hart and Soul
When one thinks of hip-hop, Canada might not be the first location that pops into mind, but as k-os proves on his fifth studio album BLack on BLonde you might want to reconsider, eh? k-os is known for his genre-blending albums, and with these 19 tracks he is given plenty of room to play. Not one to be greedy he has invited everyone from Travie McCoy, Black Thought and ’80s heart–throb, Mr. “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night” himself, Corey Hart to participate in the process.
Cutting straight to the chase, the album opens with “Like a Comet (We Rollin’)” featuring Hart. The song starts with k-os spitting on the mic for a brief moment before he is interrupted by Corey. The song is a nice mixture of styles: hip-hop transforming into a reggae influence with a sparse use of beat-boxing to round out the track. One might be tempted to over-saturate the track with Hart’s lovely pipes, but k-os chose wisely in not going down that path, opting for quality over quantity.
The rest of the album follows close to the opener as far as content is concerned. “C.L.A.” featuring Travie McCoy has a house style beat while the next song “Nobody Else” is built around a strummed acoustic guitar and the lyrics are sung rather than rapped. Later on the double LP “The Dog Is Mine” shows k-os rocking out with an electric guitar while lamenting about custody of a dog as a failed relationship is ending and he’s gathering his stuff to get the hell out of dodge.
Double albums are always tricky. Artists sometimes pack in songs that on a more conventional length album would be cut to the wayside, but with the diversity of styles represented here, k-os keeps the listener entertained throughout the 19 tracks. BLack on BLonde is a fine album added to an already well-established repertoire of a seasoned veteran.