Let me kill some suspense right now. Giano can rhyme with the best of them. For those of you who only want to listen to that “down south” style of music, this is far from it. But if you aren’t nodding your head and feeling the beat when this guy is finished rhyming, you might want to check your drink because you may be sipping on novacaine. Christian, secular, I don’t care where you put him, he can bring it. Giano comes hard on every track. I never caught him slipping or bringing anything less than really good material. If the main thing you’re interested in is hearing someone spit fire, then you want this album. Yes, the flow is strong within this one, Obi-Wan Kenobi. …I’m sorry. I got a little carried away. Please note that everything else given from here on is overlooking the fact that this album is 100% lyrically solid.
…OK, let me pick at something else. How would I describe the musical style of the album? I would describe it as being close to the smooth, jazzy style of The Roots, but jazzier (more horns). If you were to imagine a coffee house atmosphere on open mic night, most of the songs on this album would fit right in. This is NOT an album to get krunk to in anyway, unless you get krunk from lyricism and wordplay alone. Giano has plenty of sick lines that’ll make you scrunch up your face and shake your head like you just had a dose of some nasty medicine. Then you’ll have to rewind back to hear what he said again. So if you’re in a laid back mood and want to chill, this is a good album to listen to. “60 Bars” and “Fade Away” are the closest swings at a “fast” song – a.k.a. a song you’d want to dance to. Unfortunately, this is a strength and a weakness. This is great if you’re chillin’, but this is all that “Beautiful World” has to offer, so it’s kind of one dimensional. I would love another album from Giano that is more diverse musically, because he pulls no punches. But for an album with a steady rhythm, and a lyricist who can dodge and weave with the best of them, this album lacks the knockout power required to reach the “heavy-weight” class or an “awesome” status. The album is really good, but it lacks that “wow” factor.
Don’t get it twisted though, Giano has some hits on here that’ll leave a mark. He gets you open with the intro and strikes immediately with tracks 2 and 3. He stays on point and doesn’t change his rhythm until track #5. At least that’s when I calmed down from realizing I had a good CD to listen to. He shows off his bilingual skills on #9 “Beautiful World”. This song is the closest Giano gets to a hit and miss on the album, but that may be a personal quirk. He was rhyming like crazy, but he was in Spanish a little too much for me, only because I couldn’t totally appreciate what he was saying. He makes up for it on the next song, “Free Your Mind.” This is definitely one of my favorites. Plus, he finishes the fight strong. It’s easy to get caught up in the story he tells on #14. The last song is actually pretty simple, but it is also simply beautiful. I know you don’t normally hear that sort of adjective when dealing with hip-hop, but you’ll understand when you listen to it. I kept this one on repeat and I bet you’ll nod your head.
Another positive about this project is Giano gets deep. Not the “deep” that’s so deep you struggle to understand what’s going on. He addresses real issues and puts the axe at the root of it all. If Giano doesn’t preach, he may want to look into it, but I digress. This is just my long-winded way of saying the content on this album is definitely solid. Outside of a few times where the music seems off beat (literally a few seconds, not a whole song or anything that takes your attention) I don’t have much else to critique. I don’t get the purpose of the music at the end of #2, but now I’m nit-pickin’. All in all, the album is cool. Not a knockout, but he definitely gives more hits than he takes. If everybody rhymed like Giano, it really would be a beautiful world. All things considered, Giano wins by (a really easy) decision. I think he’ll win you over too. But, everybody’s a critic. I’m just the one who wrote the article. Peace and much love…
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Review by: E Pluribus Unum
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