Monday, Dec. 22 2008 @ 2:59PM
Not to be confused with the epic, Eric Roberts, Tae Kwon thriller. 50. Benoit Pioulard-Temper (Kranky)
Have you ever been in one of those nutty meditation classes, where the crackpot instructor tells you to close your eyes and imagine that you're in the middle of a forest? Don't be surprised if we eventually learn that this is what Portland-via-Michigan, singer/songwriter/producer, Benoit Pioulard, nee Thomas Meluch, does prior to picking up his guitar and turning on his mic.
before it, Meluch vividly narrates a pastoral jaunt, creating a mood that approximates a walk along the banks of the Willamette River, with the cold current splashing rocks and the water chilling your shoes. Other songs, particularly "Ahn," scald like hot cocoa in your hand as you peer out your window at snow covering your car and everything else in sight. And just like the landscape after a fresh flurry, Temper
is a pretty and pristine piece of work.--Douglas Martin
MP3: Benoit Pioulard-"Brown Bess"
49. The P Brothers-The Gas (Heavy Bronx)
The grimiest New York album made in 2008 came from Nottingham, UK? (What'd you think it was, "Pop Champagne?"). The P Brother's magnum opus, The Gas,
rattles and shakes in the surly shadows of towering Bronx tenements. With an elite cadre of rappers, the East Midland production team neatly side-step the questions of cohesion that plague most contemporary producer-led efforts.
In business for nearly two decades, from the melodic keys of album opener 'Cold World," to the swirling guitar licks and downtempo skulk of "Don't Question Me," The Gas
delivers an infectious, stripped down aesthetic, with few concessions to the mainstream. All the underground Bronx MCs bring heat, dropping dark, Ox-sharp verses that weave themselves into the beats and establish an almost pretenatural consistency. The Gas
is rap music by heads, for heads, and it's all the better for it.--Dan Love
MP3: The P Brothers-"Digital B-Boy ft. Milano"