A Complex Burden
label: Blame One

production: Kan Kick, Excile, Hoax One, DJ Day, Rath Khy, others.

guests: Main Flow, Deja Voo, A. Diction.
year of release: 2005
website: blameone.com
Day One
Hip Hop Hell
Injure And Escape
Same Goals
Sons Of Light
Wither & Die
Help Them (Interlude)
Teach The Youth
Alumni feat. Main Flow
The Mind Boggle
12. Deja Voo presents...
13. Preceding Events
14. Breakin' My Heart
15. Obstacles feat. Deja Voo
16. Satisfy My Soul
17. Live @ The Party feat. A. Diction
18. Outro
  Injure And Escape
Blame One's EP "Grown Man Rap" wasn't all that and a bag of chips (read the review). But that was then and he put those songs on "Chemical Imbalanced". This is now and now is "A Complex Burden." And, well you should be able to guess it: this is actually rather proper. The man from San Diego dusted off the what wasn't so good, grew as an artist and returns with a project that does more things right than wrong, making this album an enjoyable listen.
Right from the bat Blame sounds more comfortable over these beats, that in addition are actually better than on the previously mentioned EP. The Hoax One offering "Day One" is a pressing offering, that changes and that uses a great claviola type instrument, while Blame is pondering a world chess game of good and evil. Boiling down the Armageddon to this music, "Hip Hop Hell" discusses much of what's wrong over a rather calm and relaxed DJ Day beat. And on "Injure And Escape" Rath Khy - a producer on the EP - returns and offers a great beat, that Blame uses to tell a story in a quicker manner. Rath also does the equally good "Preceding Events".
As you can tell, this record uses the talents of many not-so-known cats, but on three occasions folks step up that have been seen on bigger releases. There's "Alumni" featuring Main Flow, who's actually only one of three guest rappers on this record - the other are Deja Voo on "Obstacles" (he also produces the good "Deja Voo Presents") and A. Diction on "Live @ The Party". "Alumni" however is over an only okay Hoax One beat. In addition to that, with Excile (of Emanon fame) producing the unimpressive "Breakin My Heart" and with Kan Kick doing a very minimal "The Mind Boggle", two people prone to do dope beats lend their talents to the project. And both don't disappoint.
Blame balances the record with him talking about several different themes. He's not just a braggadocio rapper ("The Mind Boggle"), not just a talking about his woes ("Same Goals"), disasters ("Preceding Events"), he's not just talking about one particular someone ("Symphony"), but also about spiritual topics ("Sons Of Light" and "Wither And Die"), a general positive message ("Teach The Youth" and "Satisfy My Soul"), or just good times ("Live @ The Party"). With all these topics however, Blame in general walks previously pioneered paths, but is able to put his own voice and persona into the topics.
One thing that is not too brilliant that the several Hoax One beats all sound somewhat similar. None of 'em is really bad, but the trilogy of "Same Goals", "Symphony" and "Sons Of Light" is all very much along the same lines. Then there's also a couple of other beats that are somewhat average quality. But apart from that, there really is little to complain about, as this is solid to good unflashy rap music (or 'traditional rap styles' as Blame calls 'em on "Obstacles"). And considering that the EP really didn't promise much along these lines, the surprise is as pleasant an occurance as this album.
Please Note: The printed tracklisting is not correct: "Satisfy My Soul" is not track 12, but track 16. The tracklisting in this review is as the songs appear on the CD.
review: tadah
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