Lyrics Born – Later That Day…

Lyrics Born - Later That DayI first heard Lyrics Born on the excellent compilation album “Spectrum” by Quannum Projects, an offshoot of the Solesides collective that launched DJ Shadow, Blacklacious, Lateef The Truth Speaker and Lyrics Born. He contributed vocals to the albums two standout tracks; the bluesy “Changed My Mind” (see Top 10 videos page) and the smooth “Hott People”. This is his first solo album, which was released in 1993 after a number of years producing it himself. As a vocalist and producer it’s quite a feat, melding hip-hop and r&b into a truly unique sounding mixture, with Lyrics swapping between rapping and singing with ease. His delivery shifting tempo and pitch with ease. Add in some great soulful backing vocals on the majority of the tracks, you get a smooth, funky hip-hop album, more concerned about life and having fun rather than bling and blunts.

The album get’s off to a really strong start; “Bad Dreams” recalls Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”, with it’s squelching bass line. It segues effortlessly into the polished, 80’s production of “Rise And Shine”, which see’s Lyrics Born flow at it’s peak; his growling delivery anchors the track. “U Ass Bank” is a rarity in the fact that’s it’s a funny skit on a hip-hop album (Lyrics phones his bank only to be told he has “No fucking money”). Afterwards it goes into “Cold Call” in which Lyrics calls his old Solesides partner the Gift of Gab. It’s a good idea but poor in practice, because it sounds like they’re actually both on the phone and the vocals suffer as a result. But the album gets back on track with “Stop Complaining” with it’s uber-funky bassline. Cut Chemist pops up on the beat driven “Do That There”, “The Last Trumpet” is a darker track that has a Brazilian feel in places, with a neat sample of a choir that helps build some tension. It’s not the only track that shows some experimentation; “Love So Bad” embraces reggae and dub but still doesn’t sound out of place on the album.

And that’s “Later That Day” big strength; it’s consistency. It might have taken Lyrics Born 5 or 6 years to complete this album, but it sounds like it could have been produced in couple of months. The guest appearances don’t detract or sound out of place on the album. It’s quality all the way through.

Lyrics Born – The Last Trumpet:

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