featured REVIEW


Sivion Spring Of The Songbird Hiphop IS Music • 2006

When caterpillars turn butterflies, when birds start brooding and leaf knots start to blossom up, Spring sets in and brings new life, new ideas and freshness. 'Spring Of The Songbird' is Dallas resident and Deepspace5 member Sivion’s sophomore release (following his debut 'Mood Enhancement') and Brizzy Braille’s 'Hip Hop IS Music' label’s first-born.

On this album, positive lyrics and jazzy boombap killers go hand in hand. With a tight cadence and intense flow, not seldom reminding of Supastition’s delivery, Sivion touches topics that break through and transcend the average themes handled in a hip-hop song. From spending Saturdays with his family ('Songbird Saturday'), the illusion of being perfect ('So Perfect') to his religious references, he touches boundaries where other rappers wouldn’t dare to go. Being honest and blunt, that’s what Sivion is all about, sharing his opinion about hip-hop’s decline in quality ('What once was great has now become less') and attacking the gold-digger MC’s in the anti-fakery, hip-hop anthem 'I Still Love H.E.R.' with lines such as 'Won’t see Sivion rock a rap disguise, complete with ice, wads of cash and a wealth of lies' and 'I’mma spread this butter while y’all chasing after cheddar'. All that with a sense for metaphors and concepts, not only in the album title but also in rhymes ('Trying to untangle this music like a fallen kite'). As a firm believer in God, he also continues the Christian rap legacy Sivion has built up with his group Deepspace5. All through out the album he refers to his Belief and the way God helped him through adversity and even marriage troubles ('Walk With Me').

But it’s really with the exceptional production that this album has turned into such a strong and complete debut for the 'Hip Hop IS Music' label. The Are ('The Spring Show', 'So Perfect'), Ohmega Watts ('Let Go') and Tony Stone ('Today IS the Day', 'Walk With Me' and 'Songbird Saturday') bring the vintage sound of K-Otix and Lightheaded. At the same time, unknown greats such as Siamese Sisters, Dert, Freddie Bruno, Deepspace’s Beat Rabbi and Holland’s own Soulution add an exceptional sonic experience due to the hard-hitting, uplifting boombap with jazz undertones. The up-tempo 'All My People' beat by Siamese Sisters only makes the already optimistic ('Don’t be a cynic, life’s too short to be a critic') cut even more energetic, while the hip-hop anthem 'I Still Love H.E.R.' is flabbergasting. Or the mesmerizing haziness crafted by Dert on 'Going Through' (featuring Braille) and Freddie Bruno on 'Caterpillar Dreams', both top productions that colour the sound of this album as much as Soulution’s contributions on 'Listen To This', with a soul twist, and 'Who Am I', a sprinkly jazz beat, supporting the Deepspace5 collabo.

A new label, a new start, a new album, Sivion shows he’s truly the street prophet on the block (the man even plays saxophone on a few tracks). 'Spring Of The Songbird' is one of hip-hop’s most refreshing albums of the year. Whether you’re an atheist or a Puritan, there’s a fat chance you’ll find your head bobbing to this. Hip Hop IS music!

POSTED ON 09|04|2006 by cpf

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