Published on May 29th, 2012 | by RMX0
A Music Album Review of ‘Hope in Dirt City’ by Cadence Weapon
The album ‘Hope in Dirt City‘ by Cadence Weapon was released on the 28th of May 2012 under the Upper Class record label. The artist chose a stage name but his real name is Rollie Pemberton. His dad was Teddy Pemberton, a pioneer DJ in hip-hop music. The Canadian singer has some interesting lyrics which are both sarcastic and amusing. In this review we were impressed by an album that breaks some conventions and yet remains fully ‘mainstream’ in terms of its execution.
You are immediately struck by the track ‘Hype Man’ in which the lyrics are as forceful as anything that you have every heard: “Show a hype man the middle finger on my right hand/I don’t need a fucking hype man”. The drawl is unmistakable on the album ‘Hope in Dirt City‘ by Cadence Weapon. It is his 3rd album following ‘Afterparty Babies’ and ‘Breaking Kayfabe’. Wit is one of the most powerful weapons that the singer uses in this album and we were impressed by the clever use of words. It is a soulful set of music with some hazy bits but it also provides a contrast to the work that he did in the past.
In his previous albums Cadence Weapon was described as being both ‘bleepy’ and hard-edged. In the album ‘Hope in Dirt City‘ we see some contrasts. For example ‘Conditioning’ is reminiscent of the old-Skool types. The use of brass instruments in the ‘Small Deaths’ is commendable: the singer is surprisingly delicate and we see that he is not interested in loud sounds all the time. On ‘Driving Saturday’ there is a compelling reworking of an old Bowie hit. You get some jazz, disco and rap all mixed in. The singer pays homage to his hometown Edmonton. As we navigated the various tracks in this review we felt that the singer was looking for release. In the end he found it.
There is a great mix of live and studio recordings. This makes the album ‘Hope in Dirt City‘ particularly compelling because it allows us to see the different facets of Cadence Weapon. The final impression we get is that this is organic music which the singer is happy to enjoy with the audience. There is nothing contrived about the lyrics even if they are quite witty.
This is a mixture of live and studio records. Such a rare combination is to be treasured.
Those are used to a hard sounds will be somewhat disappointed by the gentler tones of the latest offering.