What kicks off as a refreshingly well-thought-out, intriguing concept album – an extensive story, with multiple layers of depth set to emerge – soon proceeds to evolve into a collection of crisp and clean hip hop anthems, blending the intricacies of the tale with absolute professionalism and skill performance-wise; essentially offering the best of both worlds.
The Story Of Fisher Hudson is that of a young man’s experiences of a drug rehabilitation process in the future – 2040’s Western Vermont, to be precise. If you select any track from this seven-piece collection, you could be forgiven for thinking its a contemporary and quite relevant take on life as it stands right now, but to know the backstory opens up a whole new level of interest.
RetroSpecs is a fine choice to kick things off, and Shoulda-Shades follows on brilliantly – we get the bounce of the beat, the vocal confidence, a definite sense of character and personality, followed by some well-placed emotional integrity that sees us through to the tribal and colorful highlight that is Mambo No. 9.
Woven in between many of these musical moments are of course a plethora of spoken word segments – audio recordings that create a cinematic vibe, setting the scene and reminding you of the threads, the concept, holding it all together.
With Addiction, things take a quickly dark and more serious turn, musically and lyrically. The vocal tone is quieter, tired and clearly affected by the process that is the story. As the central track on the album, this one works beautifully to remind you of the thought and effort that has gone into the whole thing – and to bring home a very real potential reality for many. Studio C Addendum soon showcases itself to be a more than worthy, considerately impressive project.
Keeping things mellow and reflective is a musically unexpected Epiphany – keys and synths, effected vocals, soothing melodies and melancholy all unite. Again, a real moment of truth both mood-wise and lyrically – it’s short lived, but hits with impact thanks to clever placement within the list.
Sure enough, this latter half in its entirety seems to be the darker side of the story – our protagonist is swept up in the chaos of his new world with little hope of return.
Nowhere Town introduces a haunting, rising riff and progression, heavy bass-work, and a generally dark sense of desperation. A great soundscape and performance, captivating right the way through, and perhaps the most poignant fusion of cinema and sound on the album.
As we turn the final page, 2049 offers up a big-band set-up, complete with a big beat, horns, and the crackle of vintage presentation. The story has moved on, sobriety has been the norm, the vocal tone is calmer, the story delivered to a superb degree – the lyrics holding tight to your attention every step of the way. Where the first half of the album was more musically motivated to a degree, the latter keeps things lyrically compelling with upfront vocals and a less manic series of soundscapes. The two parts work well together.
Studio C Addendum have effectively raised the bar with this audio experience and story-line. Not just an impeccable hip hop album for 2020, but a musical must for all who crave something different and decidedly interesting.