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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Feenom Circle
Souled Separately
Melatone Music

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
The Feenom Circle is a west coast, DIY, hip-hop contingent consisting of three fellows: Side B, Rawj, and Oatmeal. With the release of Souled Separately on their own Melatone Music imprint, Feenom develop smooth flowing, minimalist hip-hop.

The emphasis is on the artists themselves, not the beats or samples that accompany their voices, which brings me to an interesting revelation: hip-hop and rap of this sort is as close to the written art of poetry as a musical artist can get. Feenom masterfully glide through each verse, alternating vocalists without any disconcerting changes in delivery or style, and display an understanding of intelligence in lyricism versus juvenile free form, that ultimately is refreshing, never insulting to the listener, touching on working-life perspectives, women, and writing as a form of release.

Each track frames the vocals with standard hip-hop background: some scratching, simple piano and organ lines, and looped drum beats, but they're well paced and add a canvas for the artists to create upon. That's not to say that it's necessary, though, because The Feenom Circle could just as easily perform a cappella on a street corner, and I'd be inspired to listen. Their cadence is gentle, but direct, and is spaced by brief hooks, never losing its form for too long.

The Feenom Circle show that a group personality can create well crafted hip-hop in the shadows of much larger, single personalities in the urban landscape that often detract from smaller artists.

(For some reason, the disc I was given to review was edited for radio play, with all curses altered. I would hope that this is only for the review disc, and not for albums purchased directly from the artist, considering the artist intended the word to be there- just run with it for fuck's sake).

Reviewed by David Spain
Based in Chicago, Illinois, David Spain is a contributing writer for LAS magazine.

See other reviews by David Spain

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