Every Possible Direction = No Possible Destination
Dating back to its birth on the charts in the late 70s, hip-hop has had a lasting bond with R & B/Soul music. Thus, several emcees doubling as singers and vice versa have achieved success. Despite the potential ease for this double-threat to thrive, many acts find that itâ€šÃ„Ã´s one thing to be good at both styles but entirely different in terms of cohesion within a song or album. k-os, with his nasally robotic delivery as an emcee and his above average singing voice, has the tools for the task. However Atlantis: Hymns for Disco offers up a confusingly mixed bag.Everything kicks off with a thunderous old school beat recalling â€šÃ„ÃºIt Takes Twoâ€šÃ„Ã¹ by Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock in â€šÃ„ÃºHeatseeker â€šÃ„Ã¬ The Seekwill.â€šÃ„Ã¹ Things are head-knodding-ly jovial as k-os boasts â€šÃ„ÃºIf youâ€šÃ„Ã´re dying to rock whether youâ€šÃ„Ã´re ready or not / Yo, guess whoâ€šÃ„Ã´s back with the sequel.â€šÃ„Ã¹ This galavanting momentum crashes into â€šÃ„ÃºThe Rain,â€šÃ„Ã¹ a bluesy, slow-tempo ballad where k-os bewilderingly bounces between themes of love and not selling out without really connecting the two. Lyrics like â€šÃ„ÃºI see you on the streets / And you just pass me by / You think Iâ€šÃ„Ã´ve got no feelings / You think Iâ€šÃ„Ã´m living highâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºI donâ€šÃ„Ã´t need no check / I need some respectâ€šÃ„Ã¹ while soulfully delivered, only leave the listener wanting clarification that, on this album, never arrives.
While the lyrical themes seem to operate on aimless whims, the music beneath them is really something to enjoy. â€šÃ„ÃºFly Paperâ€šÃ„Ã¹ has an irresistible jazzy bounce, â€šÃ„ÃºEqualizerâ€šÃ„Ã¹ cleverly samples â€šÃ„ÃºJailhouse Rock,â€šÃ„Ã¹ â€šÃ„ÃºSunday Morningâ€šÃ„Ã¹ recalls a less-produced Interpol or Arcade Fire and â€šÃ„ÃºCat Dieselâ€šÃ„Ã¹ offers up a magnetic cacophony of synths, snares, horns and guitars that make it the most repeatable track on Atlantis: Hymns for Disco. Sadly, k-osâ€šÃ„Ã´ lyrics take listeners in too many directions with no destinations.