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Illogic Write To Death II : Missing Pieces Dove Ink • 2005

The second instalment of 'Write To Death' is a collection of songs recorded over the last six years. People who are acquainted with this Ohio resident and member of the Spitball collective, would expect the same intricate, unique and experimental style with occasional spoken word that has marked Illogic's music since the beginning. But they might be surprised, as 'Volume Two' seems to be moving towards a more 'regular' underground hip-hop album.

Take the Walter Rocklight produced 'Time Is Coming' for instance, a boom-bap cut where Illogic reminds surprisingly of another Ohio resident who goes by the name Copywrite, but with sharper metaphors; 'I'm a table with no legs, y'all can't stand me'. By the way, Illogic and Rocklight have a release called '8076' coming up on Rhymesayers Ent. 'Get Up Remix' is blessed with a thundering electronic bass line, a smooth voice sample and production that outstands through variety, also reminding of a Def Jux release. The album opens with a new Eyamme production 'I Wonder Why I’m Insane' which shows Illogic's more 'custom' (to his measures) style of lyrics, expressing his dislike of today's society 'Watch where you going, be sure to leave bread crums, you don't wanna get out here and forget where you came from' reminding of a cynicism so often generated by Atmosphere and Aesop Rock. Illogic however, does it with a much more poetical twist, leavin you with sharp and sometimes far-fetched metaphors to chew on. Great in its lyrics, soundscape and melody is 'An Ocean', produced by Blockhead who throws in an aching violin, mellow piano stabs and a sorrow flute. Another highlight is 'Yellow', a smooth, laid-back cut that resides in the same atmospherically vibe as 'An Ocean'. Illogic touches the issue of love on 'Capsized' ('The butterfly made a nest inside his mind that wouldn't leave') and 'I Can Only Give You Love', characterized by a versatile Eyammie production of sampled trumpet loops, African drums, mystic voices and a guitar who suddenly sets in.

Blueprint, Illogic's partner-in-beats on the earlier released albums, is not on this album. Another reason why this project is different from the others, along with the absence of spoken word, the less difficult-to-the-ear production and the less abstract themes. On the other hand, Illogic fans don't have to be sceptical. Songs like 'Liquid Meets Land' and 'I've Been' still lean onto his earlier work. Although not a consistent piece of work (this is after all a compilation), it's a challenge for the listener and it will surprise fans. If not consistent, than it's certainly a great concept, because the back cover of each CD represents a piece of a bigger graffiti art work. What's more, 'Write to Death II' will also attract people who never heard of the name Illogic before reading this. And that's good news because this MC is clearly one of the strongest stylistics in rap music today.

POSTED ON 11|28|2005 by cpf

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