L’Orange, a producer from North Carolina, and Kool Keith, a well established MC, came together this year to release Time? Astonishing! A collaborative, sort of concept album about space and time travel. While most of the the thirty minute album is enjoyable, I feel as if though it is missing something.
L’Orange’s production is really good and I really like the little story pieces that connect the narrative across the songs. "Twenty Fifty Three” has one of my favorite beats on the album. I really like the main guitar riff and the sample. "The Green Ray” has a great horn sample. “The Wanderer” has a great sample flip of some piano, “Suspended Animation” also has a great beat even with the strange feature of MC Paul Bartman. “Upwards To Space” is another fantastic beat, which has a really great vocal sample and some acoustic guitar, I also enjoyed L’Orange's use of a siren.
Kool Keith and guests take over the MC’ing and continue the strange narrative that is propagated by the little story samples. While they are all more than competent rappers, they all feel passive. They never came as hard as I would like and never have enough feeling in any of the songs. Kool Keith’s most believable rhyme is when he says “Quit rap because I’m tired,” and I feel like the nobody really commits to their lines. They just say them. That is my biggest problem with this album and it is not a small complaint for me.
As much as I love L’Orange’s beats on this project and the overall story cohesion, this album is really missing something in the MC department. So much so that all I can think about when I listen to this album is how it could have been better.
by Addison Garry (@addisonagarry)