For Whom The Bells Crow

production: Omid, Paris Zax, Porter, Presto, Deeskee, Dnae, others.

guests: Pigeon John
year of release: 2004
website: neila-alien.com
1.
For Whom The Bells Crow
2.
Dead Crows
3.
Felt
4.
Sky Blue
5.
Land Of Look Behind
6.
Smells Like Murder
7.
Rules feat. Pigeon John
8.
News On Mute
9.
Make Up
10.
Living Then Dying
11.
Operating Instructions
12. Stolen Thoughts
13. Leave The Light On
14. Fallen Moon
15. Endless Nothing
  Leave The Light On
Whenever facing a record like this the question arises if to bring up the whole woman in rap discussion. If or if not. But let's face it: there's entirely too few talented women in rap music. And there's entirely too many women in rap that are video hoe's with lines - they are talking supernumeraries.
But Neila is definitely not one of those. She's actually a really interesting woman, not only rapping on here, she also finds moments to sing and illustrated the artwork, as well as drew the two paintings in the middle part of the sleeve. Therefore this record looks good and sounds good. Good is an understatement though.
You know, women are from Venus and men are from Mars, so don't expect this album to sound like the next dude's record. On top of that Neila is not your typical lady neither. Neila is an interesting person and thus makes interesting records. Interesting also because she seems to shy away from stepping in front and over her music, but rather stays behind the music. And for us - who don't know her personally - this appears to be an introspective and personal album, with the lyrics printed in the artwork, so get your read on.
As said several times now, Neila does things in her own way. There are moments on here when she sings (like on many hooks, including "Felt" where she sounds strangely like Shania Twain - in a good way though), there's quite a bit of jazz on here too - like on "Endless Nothing" or on "Stolen Thoughts" - performed with her band - where Neila's sing-song style walks right smack in the middle of flowing and crooning. And you gotta love the live instrumentation. Especially as most live instrumentation usually suck, and this certainly does not.
Amongst the highlights are the previously mentioned "Felt", the Paris Zax produced and very harsh "Land Of Look Behind", the dramatic Dnae produced "Sky Blue", the Deeskee produced "Living Then Dying", the Omid produced "Operating Instructions" (previously released on a limited Subversiv 10") and the rather incredible and emotional "Leave The Light On". But this quick break down can only hint at the actual quality of this good, very impressive, and worthy of your attention release. This is one of those album that will still sound good in ten years time.
And thus, even if you usually shy away from releases done by the good looking gender, that hesitance must get thrown over board. This is not just a great album done by a female artist. This is a great album done by a great artist. Period.
review: tadah
   
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