STYLE: Hip-Hop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 167331-26051 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Acting as a companion piece to his debut book of poems and short stories Rhythm And Poetry, London-based rapper Karl Nova's latest release sees him continue to deliver the kind of inventive and quality hip-hop that is rapidly becoming his trademark. An accompanying press release describes the theme of the album as being "how Nova deals with living through these present times" and, as you might expect from that kind of mission statement, there is an overriding defiant feel to proceedings. For instance, the likes of "Statement Of Intent", "Ride It Out" and "Get Through This" are bold declarations of survival set to a subtle backdrop of a hope found in God whilst "Still Here" bravely charts a battle against suicidal thoughts in a way that offers up genuine hope to those going through similar trials. Nova's ability to expertly blend fluid wordplay with a seemingly effortless delivery and some delightfully imaginative and varied hip-hop grooves permits him to offer up advice to those struggling to cope in today's world - most notably in the mantra-like "Simple" and "Aim High Stay Low" - whilst the timely "Calm" sees Nova neatly express his thoughts about living in a city tinged with fear of inner city violence or the next terrorist attack. Tagged on to the end, the four bonus tracks (including "Thankful" which features a spoken word guest turn from New Jersey's Marcy DePina) are more direct in terms of referencing Nova's faith and round off an excellent release from this accomplished artist.
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