Thursday, 23 April 2009

'Rebel Without Applause' - Elemental & Tom Caruana (album review)

I love it when Hip Hop isn’t taken too seriously but is still treated with respect. Elemental and Tom Caruana have put together an LP that is as silly as it is credible. In fact this sentiment, taken from ‘Cup of Brown Joy’, might just sum up the attitude: “So when times are hard and life is rough, you can stick the kettle on and find me a cup”.

The album is a patchwork of full tracks, actually funny skits (‘Hunting Season’ is about hunting hunters and mounting their heads) and short idea tunes (‘Patience’ and ‘Cartoon Baboon’) which makes listening easy and pleasurable, especially if you have ADHD. Tom’s production more than adds to the joyful feel of this album as he samples what can only by smiles and sunshine in audio form.

Tracks like ‘Town Called Nowhere’ and ‘Livin’ in the 90’s’ (awesome sample used here) will appeal to everyone who has lived in a town or in the 90s – that’s a lot of people and I hope they all hear this album. ‘Ye Old School’ has a great message and is similarly appealing – quite a few of us have similar fond memories of our days in education. ‘Pay Me A Visit’ features Hip Hop legend Count Bass D and is worth a mention in this review for that fact alone.

Elemental and Tom Caruana have the skill to evoke the “That’s so true!” reaction that a good stand up comedian draws from his audience. They are testament to the fact that the mundane things of life (like sick days) can be the funniest and that they make good subject matter for rap songs.

‘Rebel Without Applause’ is a breath of fresh air in our serious scene and whilst not everyone should be on this tip it’s a very good thing that Tom Caruana and Elemental are. It’s out now on Tom’s Tea Sea Records label and is available from their website. Check out the video for 'Cup of Brown Joy' below:

1 comment:

weasel said...

Really enjoyable album - if you've not go it, what are you waiting for!? I got mine from Tea Sea Records' shop.
TC and Elemental are brilliant, I've been keeping tabs on their stuff since I first heard their old crew which was called The Menagerie, I think Tom Caruana did the beats for them and Elemental was joined by Koaste and the one and only Dr Syntax together with Nick Maxwell on the cuts..