I would like to first start this review by saying that Zilla Rocca keeps surprising me with the wealth of sounds the more I listen to his music. There is a peculiar sound and touch of care into what makes a Zilla Rocca track, they are usually laced with a thin film of dust all over and ice cubes melting into a glass of single barrel bourbon. It's that unmistakable Noir-Hop that he is known for and excels in each release, bringing us closer to the modern urban take of trench coats flapping in the wind and a scuffed Colt Detective Special .38 that's been around the block a few times. This album isn't just a regular Hip-Hop album, it seeps with visions of a different time accompanied by long shadows and seedy characters that deserves it's own space in music. I'm not going to base my review on technicalities and samples because well... I'm no producer, but I can base my review off what I hear and see when heard. The album starts with Creme De Menthe and soothes it's way into a damp yet sexy low lit bar with scantly clad smokes walking about. It continues it's wet cobblestone journey thru dark alleys and broken windows while displaying ther versatility of verses from Zilla Rocca, Has-Lo, Curly Castro, My Man Shafe and Nex Millen. It all plays out great and gives higher hopes that Hip-Hop can and will find more in it's vision and imagination than "chillin' on the block" rap. Dr. Quandary makes a producer appearance in "Full Spectrum" which takes you to a backroom dim lit card game filled with smoke and egos at play while Zilla lays it all out and shows a straight flush. In "New Year's Eve 2003" you are taken into the mind of Rocca and vivid twists in his dreams, he spits it and feels as if you were there along with him that night. At the end you are surprised with a remix of "Full Spectrum" by the dope Man Mantis, specks of dust fly around in the triangular top lit areas emitting soft rays of yellow. Ok so I believe by now you got the idea that I really love this album due to the cinematic portrayal of everything involved, it's amazing when an element starts to take shape before your eays and in your mind and this album does that.
So should you buy it? Hell yes and while you're at it thank the man in the process. This is what I mean when you read my tweets about Hip-Hop having more thought and imagination applied to the basic formula. By the way "Vaguely Jamaican Part 2" reminds me of the Gorillaz sound and it's lovely. An amazing effort from all involved and Zilla Rocca, the man is paying his dues and leaving a hefty tab behind for the help so pay attention.