16 February 2013

REVIEW: Uptown X.O. - Colour De Grey


                So, I had this whole write up done about Uptown X.O.’s debut studio album,  Colour De Grey. I was going to be as objective as I could be, compare it to other recent releases and just do my best to come across as official as possible….
                 F@#k that…………

    There is absolutely no way I can be objective about this album. I have been waiting for X.O. to drop his release ever since Diamond District dropped In The Ruff back in 2009. While Oddisee always brings it with his releases and yU has dropped two solid albums, I was always on the lookout for Uptown’s solo release. Four years later I had given up hope…………


      And then I heard the album.

                Colour De Grey is already one of my favorite releases for the year. It is one of those albums that I listened to and just knew it is going to be on repeat for a long time to come. I was going to pick up this album regardless simply because X.O. dropped it. I had a feeling that it was going to be good. What was an added plus was the production that came along with the vocals. The entire album was produced by Ab The Pro. I had no idea who this cat was before I picked this album up, but please believe I’ll be keeping an ear out for anything else he puts out. The album is mellow-dope; it isn't a club album by any stretch but it is one you can put on whenever.

                Colour De Grey, the full length release from Diamond District’s Uptown X.O., introduces the uninitiated to Uptown X.O. as more than just another emcee of Diamond District. Colour De Grey showcases X.O. as a lyricist with quite a bit to say. With Diamond District’s In The Ruff released in 2009, the world had been waiting to see what Uptown would do after hip hop heads having been graced with releases from two members from Diamond, Oddisee and yU.  Colour De Grey shows that Uptown X.O. was well worth the wait.

                The album uses the tried and true one emcee/one producer formula and is better for it. Instead of a plethora of producers all trying to throw their best track on the album, Colour De Grey lets the emcee and the producer see what works between them and create an entire album that fits together with no tracks sounding out of place.

These are the tracks in my regular rotation:

·         Everyday – This track features Ab The Pro on vocals as well as production. Ab sounds like he is channeling his inner Jay-Z for his flow delivery but it works. The song actually reminds me of Reasonable Doubt Jay-Z for some reason, but I can’t put my finger on why.

·         Soul Value – There is this sample in there that sounds like it came straight from a Tears For Fears song. As random as that sounds, it works perfectly for the song. The best way I can describe this one is Enya-infused hip hop. Definitely chill, follow the jump here.

·         Salaam – This Under Armour commercial, by way of donutsandmilk.com, uses the X.O. track to set it off. It's not the whole song but you get the point. Check it out right here.

·         Spread Love – This is actually the first song on the album (the track that precedes it is spoken word). The song starts off with a simple boom bap but soon becomes the perfect opener to the rest of the album. If you have never heard of X.O. before now, this is a great intro for you.

When it’s all said and done, this will be one of those albums you keep in rotation almost all year and it will still sound better than some joints you recently picked up. Uptown X.O. has set the bar pretty high for himself with this release. Good thing about that is, he seems content with going nowhere but up. This album definitely deserves a listen. Do yourself a favor and grab a copy. You won’t be sorry.


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