Album Review: Luis T – “Decisions Vol. 1”
Published on June 8, 2012
Reviewed by: Neil Christian
Rating: 6.4 (Out of 10)
There is a rising trend in hip hop, where the veterans are releasing sub-par albums and trying to cater to the mainstream sound to stay relevant; all the while many of the newcomers are going back to the tried and true sounds of hip hop. However it has not crossed over to CHH as much as one would like. This is why Luis T is a breath of fresh air in an oversaturated, stale culture that much of CHH has become.
The production on this project is phenomenal! The somber aired Fantasy with its misty feel is a great cut from the album which really demonstrates the strengths of the producer. Gravity is another reflective track with soft keys and soft percussion which provides the perfect canvas for Luis to pour his heart out. It is tracks that like that put this album a cut above the rest of the CHH albums. The producer is not afraid to let the artist take the attention while providing simple, yet majestic cuts for them to tell their story over.
The production is not just somber and sincere all the way though. There are up-beat tracks such as Decisions, with its bouncing beat and strings complementing the raps that prove the versatility of the production team, Prolific Sounds. But the production is right at home with their softer production, with cuts like Quest shining above the rest, with its jazzy bass, bells and an airy atmosphere permeating the ears so the listener actually FEELS from the beat, not just the words. This is pure soul-moving production.
However the rapper is not to be forgotten. This is best seen on Morality where Luis drops bars for 2min straight and it really doesn’t get any better than this,
“Truth between the lines, the truth between the ugly and the fine,
The wine or the shrine, the hustle the women or the crime,
The question that circulated my mind, is morality really worth my time,
Because I can handle all the dang despise, when I walk to every place I could see it beneath they eyes,”
Go ahead and name another song that opened with such vivid words. Luis T paints pictures with his words. Over a somber worship-evoking beat on Il Serve You, Luis T drops gems such as this,
“No feeling blue, cuz his love is bulletproof,
No Chris Brown no chunkin deuce, call me crazy Dr. Seuss,
Paint a picture on the moon, with my God we called a truce,
Feeds me daily holy juice, follow me and get immune,”
In fact the evidences of Luis T’s lyricism are everywhere on this project. The singular most detrimental thing to this project however is the mixing and mastering. I wish that this would have been mixed well. The vocals are way too soft for Luis’ vocal range, the beats are often blurred together into just noise and the pitches of the singers need to be adjusted to match the vocals of the verses. This is not good post-recording production.
Clocking in with 9 tracks, this project is like a long EP, but not quite an album. With fantastic production and lyrics to match the production, this was an impressive project. Now to pray that more artists will stop being slaves to the ‘popular’ sound and just make timeless music.
Rating – 6.4
1. Music – 8
2. Flow – 8
3. Creativity / Originality – 7
4. Relevancy – 7
5. Content & Character – 7
6. Credibility & Confidence – 7
7. Personality – 7
8. Presentation Quality – 6
9. Overall Production Quality – 3
10. Potential Impact – 4