Saturday, July 4, 2009

Eyedea & Abilities - By the Throat (2009)

Rhymesayers-based hip-hop duo Eyedea & Abilities return after a 5 year hiatus with somewhat mixed results. They've mostly left behind the aggressive, battle-centric lyrics and turntablism that were present on E&A in favor of a more indie rock/electronic type sound.

Eyedea's short stint as the vocalist for rock band Carbon Carousel is pretty apparent here, and many of the songs feature him crooning along to dull and uninspired guitar lines that were probably originally intended for the aforementioned band. Eyedea isn't a particularly good singer either, and the tracks that forgo singing in favor of actual rapping are generally the more successful ones.

Another thing worth noting is the apparent lack of DJ Abilities. He still makes a few appearances here and there with some scratching, but his contributions are seemingly minimal compared to the first two albums. This can be explained by the complete change in direction sound-wise, but it is still pretty disappointing, considering Abilities used to be an integral part of the E&A sound.

>> Download

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please take the link down. Nice review, but this is what Mike and Greg make their living off of.

Thanks
Not Mike or Greg (sadly)

Skyler said...

I sincerely doubt that me providing a link to the album is taking money out of their pockets.

Anonymous said...

It's complicated. Say I were some person who liked E&A but never really bought music. Well then if I were to download this, I wouldn't need to buy it. Buying=money. I got the advance as well, but I still pre-ordered the album. These cats are really chill and don't have a lot of dough, so if you like their music, help them get by.

roces9 said...

Please support free music.

slept_cry said...

why dont we just download it for free, and if we think it's worth paying for, then we go out and buy the record. i'm definitely buying the record as soon as i get some money. im just a kid with very little money, but i still want to hear e&a

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, Anonymous. Rhymesayers staff work very hard to curb illegal download. This link will be down soon. Thanks for the support.

Anonymous said...

hmm lack of dj abilities? perhaps you just aren't hearing all of the things he is doing...

Dan said...

alright. i have a few things to say about this album.. wtf? like really. theres acouple sick verses
but lets face it he cant sing.if he gets into R&B i kid you not, tons of fans will lose respect, including me. i have bought all there albums so far. and ive listened to this... lack of hardcore-ness. thats what people want when there trying to get into underground music. its ashame. they've had what? 5 years to getthere shit together.. and this is the msuci that they can come up with.. tisk tisk.. i hope they get enough funding to make a decent album in the next.. 5 years -.-'

Skyler said...

"hmm lack of dj abilities? perhaps you just aren't hearing all of the things he is doing..."


i'm not saying that he's absent, i'm saying that he's not doing anything particularly interesting or noteworthy.

Mark said...

Just thought I'd point out a possible typo - "Eyedea isn't a particularly good singer either, and the tracks that forgo actual rapping in favor of singing are generally the more successful ones" I'm assuming rapping/singing are muddled here.
Anyway I appreciate your review and politely disagree - I've been waiting for this ablum with baited breath since falling in love with E&A when it came out and discovering the masterpieces of First Born and the Oliver Hart record. I would agree with you on the rock singer persona though... it didn't really foat my boat in Carbon Carousel, and it only really works here when it's more abstract and blends into the song.
If you think about, Eyedea has 'sung' loads in the past in the choruses of previous records. I guess the main difference now is that he's not so much rapping in tune as he is stretching a tune over a few words.
Anyhow, I can't say I'm disappointed in this record in any case. Eyedea still has incredible flow, startlingly insightful wordplay, and a very original voice in the rap world.