featured REVIEW


Lightheaded Wrong Way Tres • 2005

Lightheaded is back with their sophomore album on the new and promising Tres Records label. This Portland group consists of Braille, who made a name on the underground level, Ohmega Watts, who’s about to drop his solo effort 'The Find' on Ubiquity, Othello, who rolls with the Hipknotics and Canadian producer Muneshine, who connected with the group through the Internet. Most of the LP is produced by Muneshine and Watts. Guest beat makers are Stro the 89th Key (The Procussions), who did three cuts, and Tony Stone, who’s contributin one beat.

This album is all about feel-good music, embracin life and persuing the listener to life it right, even when it plays you rough sometimes, as they explain in the magnificent ‘Unconditional’; 'When the worries of your day try to choke your hope, hold fast, it’ll pass but you’ll have to cope'. And that’s what their message is all about, stay positive and love life unconditionally. In the excellent 'Short Stories', with a pumpin DJ Spinna-kind of beat and a great Buffy break, they talk about the game of seduction and not taking it for granted that the right girl comes easy. Behind their lyrics there's a strong spiritual side that sometimes switches to a religious dimension as in the mystic 'Eye To Eye'. Not very surprising with the group members' strong belief, but at no time they sound like they wanna oppress their conviction, and they’re able to approach the matter from a broad perspective; 'The question is not what your religion is, Christ died for all of us', Braille raps in the title track. More mystic vibes are exposed on the lovely 'Eye To Eye', a down-tempo track with a whailing voice and the crew speakin about their experiences in life and love and motivatin people to look at life realistically.

Besides the mellowness and good vibes there’s also the thumpin, even menacin 'Afraid Of The Dark' with aggressive lyricism, 'I blame myself before I blame the Powers that Be, and focus on things that last eternally'. Other productions are rugged funk with solid drums, slammin snares, organs, guitars and different jazz instruments sampled to it; as there is 'Individually Wrapped', the energetic 'Soul Power' and the up tempo 'Uhhh' (the drums!), reviving the early 90s and reflectin the sound of acts like P.U.T.S. (Tres' group, after whom the label is named after) and Jurassic 5. Very soulful and jazzy is the bonus cut 'Surprise Cypher RMX', featuring guest MC's Sojourn, Sharlok Poems, Adam L, Surreal and Sivion, kickin nice punch lines. The beat holds the Minnie Ripperton sample that’s been used on Slum V’s ‘The Look Of Love RMX’, but flipped in a different manner.

This album has lots of variation in production, 'Bing Pong' for example, is an exceptionnel, minimalistic beat with nuthin but an ill accoustic bass pluck and crazy scratches. The record has lyrics that have a point, the listener is often adressed directly and he has the oppurtunity to get into the album and enjoy the music which is charachterized by influences of funk, soul, life and religion. Great music that soothes and heals the soul, 'Wrong Way' is gonna put you in the right mood and on the right tracks! (European release: October, US release: not before 2006)

POSTED ON 09|04|2005 by cpf

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