Monday, 12 November 2007

Pyrelli - Vitamin A - A Twist of Fate

As Sway’s partner in rhyme you would expect great things of Pyrelli. Stupidly, I didn’t anticipate said great things based upon one thing; his performance on Sway’s ‘Up Your Speed’. I was a fan of the track because of the replayed Fleetwood Mac elements and the fact that it looked outside of London but to be honest I couldn’t really hear what they were saying.

‘Vitamin A - A Twist of Fate’ is a humble title for something which seems so deserved. This album is defiantly more than the work of an unknown power although the ‘Twist’ part makes more sense. Pyrelli, who currently works part time at Clarks in Seven Sisters peddling shoes, should definitely expect life changes if this CD is anything to go by.

By now you’ve probably cottoned on to the fact that this review will be positive and that I am more than pleasantly surprised by Pyrelli’s latest offering. And an offering it is, at no point do you get the feeling that Pyrelli has already got too big for his boots, he simply brings what he has to the table and seems to say, quite shyly, “What do you think of this?”. Now don’t get me wrong, the boy has confidence and charisma but whilst he knows how good he is, there are no illusions of grandeur. He openly admits he wants ‘papers’ to be a result of this album and honesty is a good thing. I don’t fault him one iota for this; who doesn’t want their part time job to pay out? And which rapper doesn’t want their part time grind to become a full time paid position?

The album as whole is not traditionally British, if anything it salutes the southern states (the relentless hi-hats, synths and screwed chorus vocals of ‘Do Not Disturb’ especially) and displays clear influences from current trends in the grime and dance scenes. If more UK producers and rappers decide to follow this trend it’s not going to be a bad thing as long as it’s not overdone. What you won’t find here is dusty samples taken from long forgotten vinyl or boom-bap beats but if that’s the kind of rap music you usually like, don’t write this off yet. If you did like Sway’s album, particularly the more grimey tracks, you should really listen to this.

‘Vitamin A…’ kicks off with ‘Introvert Me’, a synthy string and choir stab laden affair, part fast rap and part recorded interview, that serves to introduce this MC. The album begins loud and heavy, ‘Can’t be Asked’ continues on this theme and wouldn’t sound amiss alongside any Timbaland produced club banger. ‘Do Not Disturb’, as I mentioned before is dirty south-esque but a British accent brings it home and makes it ours. Track 4, ‘Fashionably Late’, switches up the formula; a blaxploitation sound is sampled here and Pyrelli tells us how just because he’s a rapper he’s not going to bang all the groupies; mans got morals.

Title track ‘Twist of Fate’ changes the pace and mood of the album. Darker and more menacing than preceding tracks, ‘Twist…’ displays Pyrelli’s ability to tell a story lyrically. This mood doesn’t last long as ‘Caravan of Love’ is a straight up loved up ballad that almost parodies itself; it’s Pyrelli’s ‘Month in the Summer’ and everyone should have a place in their heart for this sentimental slop. The loving doesn’t end there, thankfully it’s Pyrelli’s love affair with hot countries and their cuisine that he’s rapping about on ‘Caribbean Love’. The tune starts off with a comedy sample of a song about calypso music. Then it stops and a heavy headnodder laced with a relentless synth horn shocks your speakers.

‘Eazy Peazy’ is easily the worst track on the album and I probably won’t listen to it again. He seems to have gone for a dreamy drum ‘n’ bass-ish beat that uses bells and other things that make it sound like a demented Christmas carol; tis not good. But don’t give up on him now, everyone can have one whack track right? ‘Full Burst’ redeems Pyrelli and puts the album back on track with it’s slow burning relentless beat and it’s clear and concise lyrics. ‘Know No Other Way’ is an uplifting, chipmunk vocal utilising ear pleaser and Pyrelli’s vocals are impressive - he rarely takes a breath and each line morphs perfectly into the next.

‘Push Tha Boat Out’ is in a similar vein to ‘Fashionably Late’, a soul break complete with bongos and some dirty south drums provide the perfect backdrop for Pyrelli to drop some quick rhymes about this and that, (maybe everything he wanted to say on his other tracks and didn’t).

So, is this a vitamin you need? Yeah, it pretty much lives up to it’s name. Vitamin A is essential for life and whilst this isn’t necessary for existence it’s indispensable for any forward thinking UK Hip Hop head. For fans of US Hip Hop this may just be your way in to the UK scene. Pyrelli has come with something a little different, drawing influence from some of the hottest sounds around and has managed to mix them all into one without anything sounding out of place. Look out for Pyrelli Tha Instigator.

*This is a review of the promo version of the album, the tracklisting is different for the released version*

No comments: