Giano - B-Sides and Remixes, Vol. 2
Posted by Stephen Maddox on Monday, June 11, 2012 at 7:11pm EST
I’ve known about Giano for a while.I’ve always been impressed with his work, but this is the first time I really have taken time to sit down and listen to his music and analyze it. The two words that come to my mind are Fresh and Nice. Fresh as in new, and as in dope! It’s nice as in, sonically pleasing, and as in yo!!! He is NICE on the mic!!!! But above all, we see he has a heart for Christ. Its rare to see a God Fearing emcee, bring it artistically the way Giano does on B-Sides... There is a tremendous amount of diversity in this album which is refreshing to hear in a genre where artists so easily get pigeon holed or type cast. Enough rambling, though Let’s get into this album.
After a spacey interlude we land on the clouds sonically in the first song Salute- an airy drum-n-bass style track. In his calm tone Giano smoothly drops into some dope wordplay: "I re-inner introduce, me again, it’s me and Him, Him and I, infinite, limitless supply of life breathin’ in – die genocide, my spirit’s inside battling – my inner mind’s enemy waxed hard like lanolin.....". The remainder of the song is just as powerful lyrically.
The next standout song to me is "Prelude to a Love Song". It stands out because Giano delves into the often forgotten Neosoul vibe and his smooth style compliments the sound well. Also, he found talented singers to sing the hook, rappers, take note! Get some real singers to sing your hooks, the end product is so much better. "Spirit vs Flesh (Sim City mix)" features a delightful blend of standard hip hop production and live instrumentation plus a collabo with Sivion (Deepspace 5), an emcee who always pleases my ears. In terms of collaborations, they are all done well on this album (which also features Sinuous on "Prelude...", as well as BenEvol and Eric Cross together on the great "No More").
As to be expected there are tracks I don’t really feel on this album but even on them I still find myself drawn in by his talented emcee skills, and the message he is trying to convey. Like I said before, it’s rare to have such balance in CHH; this is a very well put together album. A must for the true hip hop fan but also easily accessible for the casual listener. Purists can sit dissecting the lyrics line by line but you can play it at a dinner party and please everyone else. I look forward to more work from Giano, it's obvious he is a serious artist and a sincere brother in Christ.
Categorical Ratings Breakdown:
Lyrics/ Delivery: 5/5
Beat Selection/production: 4/5
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