Filed under: Music, Music News, Must Read, Reviews, Things We're Diggin'
Brave. That’s the first thing I thought upon hearing Akala’s new album DoubleThink. The second was – brilliant.
Now on his third album, Akala really has nothing to prove, but the fact is – he’s proving a lot here. He’s proving that not only is he one of the most articulate, intelligent and talented emcee’s, but that he’s also one of the most experimental and forward thinking. The concept and lyricism on this album is something to behold and the musicology behind it, captivates.
Inspired by three classic novels of dystopian fiction: George Orwell’s “1984”, Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” and Yevgeny Zamyatin’s “We”, DoubleThink is as sonically pleasing as it is mentally stimulating.
It’s rare for a British rapper to delve and experiment so deeply into other genre’s as Akala has on DoubleThink. Heavy influences from Rock and Punk can be heard throughout. You’d be forgiven for assuming that “Psycho” is off a Prodigy album or that “Thick Skin” comes from rock group Korn. Akala commits fully. The experiments don’t end there though – Classical, Dub-Step and 80’s Hip Hop groove are also infused within this masterpiece.
But of course, it’s the words that can be found within Akala’s music that makes this album so significant and so important. From agitated, to angry; Hurt, to optimistic – Akala utilises every breathe by spitting insightful and meaningful vocable. On the spoken word track “I Don’t Need“, Akala explains to his girl that the way she is, is just fine – “I don’t need you to wear red lipstick, gloss or face dust, I like your face just fine as it is” / “I don’t need to see your cleavage or your thighs, I’m still getting over your eyes and smile”. On “Welcome To Dystopia” he confronts conformity – astutely dissecting the bondages of society and human nature. Questions about religion and faith are tackled on track 16 entitled “God“, where as “Find No Enemy” addresses the issue of self identity and race. Using words as though they are weapons Akala challenges a diverse array of topics and while many may presume an 18 track album to be too long (admittedly, I like 10 track albums), I found listening to DoubleThink remarkably engaging – he is brutally honest, abundantly clear and extremely passionate.
A brilliant concept, exploratory musical vision and eloquent lyricism makes DoubleThink one of the most engrossing long players of recent times. I truly believe this. Akala need be proud of what he has achieved here. Sidenote: I really hope a lot of young people get to hear and be inspired by this album.
DoubleThink is released May 3rd. The new single “XXL” featuring Bashy is out now via iTunes
Peace, Love & Akala
4 Comments so far
Leave a comment