Starting out in a great way, bringing together a simple yet unusual soundscape and a series of ideas and lyricism set to captivate and impress – The Reminder kicks off this collection from Anthemous, a striking song with a lot for you to think about, and the playlist only hits harder as things progress.
Anthemous is a self-proclaimed rock star with a fondness for rap music, though that’s something of an understatement. Veteran is a heavy project, skillfully crafted, with volume, depth, and delicacy. Undoubtedly one worth exploring as the summer months grow closer.
Following the opener, Guess Who is a fast paced piece that explodes into life with optimism and vibrancy – energizing and inspiring listeners, showcasing a flawlessly fast flow. The whole thing surrounds you like a whirlwind of motivation. Cancun follows with a totally different style, elements of rock or trip-hop come through, a certain spaciousness, a touch of melody and melancholy in equal parts. The vibe is gentle yet intense, that is to say the pace is notably slower, but the subject matter is gritty and performed with a definite level of angst and swagger.
The length of this project is phenomenal, particularly when you consider how well crafted each track is – how well written, performed, and produced, and how unique so much of it is. Instrumentally the eclecticism is on point. Having said that, the Anthemous sound makes itself known early on – the tone of the voice, the varying levels of intensity, the way in which the artist deals with each topic and each performance. Durango is the perfect example of all of this at work. The passion and openness is undeniable. Hurt The Game ft Br0nZ comes afterwards and brings about the perfect level of rhythm and movement to really offer something hypnotic and satisfying. Everything together, each taking to the stage intermittently, is what makes this project impressive.
Influence-wise there’s a lot at work here, the inspiration seems endless – the passion too. The sound is reminiscent of a number of artists from yesteryear, though for the moment it feels fresh and exciting to witness. Skull-N-Bonez is a stand out moment, this meeting of the tribal riff-line and the weight of the vocal performance just works. A touch of classic Tupac comes through, but it passes by as nostalgia, then something new takes over – the hook hits with immense impact, the whole thing oozes personality.
Love Me takes on a more modern hip hop and RnB vibe – the auto-tune, the dreamlike soundscape, the personal intimacy and vulnerability. Trial and Error utilises contrast effectively and makes sure to crank the energy back up – the volume, the weight, the intensity, the passion, the power; it all comes together to scream out for your attention. Then Play Something offers a welcome break and a moment of organic instrumentation and style. This one works well, it feels minimalist, natural, authentic. It fills the room with those essential good vibes just when you need them. Rat Pack makes sense as a smooth and entrancing follow-up. Certain moments on this album are perfectly placed so as to make certain you notice and remember them.
Closing in on the last few moments, you’re immersed in the collection at this point – every track is reliable and feels fresh, new, mildly different to the last yet holding close to those threads of character and familiarity. Dime takes a classic RnB-meets-soul leading vocal melody, crafting around it a well written story-line that again offers personal truth and openness. Try It ft. Br0nZ keeps the details alive and reminds you how creative the production and the performances have been throughout. The sound is often big, but it’s the little things – the details, the soundbites – that really reach out and connect. The collaboration here seems so natural and works beautifully.
Say Their Names is an important track and one of the most powerful and compelling of all. The soundscape offers a simple delicacy and contrasting joyfulness that really adds weight to the words and the way the artist presents them. You hang on every line, as you should. The performance starts off calmly and grows to be increasingly intense and passionate. Then comes the pause, the break-away from the expected; the list – the names. It’s an incredible representation of the truth and really hits hard when you listen from start to finish. Sometimes art can feel like the only way to address or attempt to deal with tragedy in a manner that is truly heard. It’s bittersweet, unfair that songs like this have to be written, yet an almighty reminder of what matters.
No Outlet brings things to a quietly loud finish. The album leaves you thinking deeply about the world, and about the experiences, thoughts, and feelings of the writer. The latter half really reaches out with unique poignancy. The journey throughout the collection is loaded with highs, lows, and everything in between. Totally worth exploring for fans seeking out that genuine touch, that skillful flow, relevant musicality, and meaningful lyricism.