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Agency

Philosophies

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite an interesting set combining soul music with electronic and hip hop in terms of overall sound. Beyond that, though, it leans toward jazz at times. There is even a cover of a Classics IV hit. It generally avoids the over-production that haunts a lot of this type of music. It never seems to feel redundant, either.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Hard To Believe
A cool soulful groove that combines the modern with the classic, this is a great opener. Sometimes I'm reminded of Prince a bit in terms of the vocal performance. This is the kind of thing that really gets under your skin and hangs around. It's so classy.
INVASION!
Mostly percussive, there is some jazz and some hip hop here. Overall, it's more modern, but still very soulful.
Joyride
Much more of a hip hop piece, I love the backing music. That part of the cut is electronic and so cool. It turns more soulful in the sung section later.
Warn Me Next Time
Earning a big parental advisory, this is more pure hip hop. It has cool rhythmic elements and some definite soul vibes. It's also quite electronic.
Millions (All I See Is You)
Electronic soulful sounds are the order of business here.
Spooky
This is an unusual cover of the old school classic. The chorus hooks are brought into modern terms. The cut seems to combine a bit of classic rock with the kind of electronic hip hop based soulful sounds you'd imagine here.
Tension
This has a classic soulful vibe to it. The groove is great, as is the song in general. It's one of the highlights here.
Ripe (Feel It)
Another with a great groove to it, this continues the classic soul done modern electronic trend. This is another standout tune.
Help Me Find My Way Home
I love the piano on this, but there is cool drumming and some great horns, too. This whole thing has a killer jazz texture to it. The jam later in the piece takes it very much into a freeform jazz kind of thing.
I Didn't Come Here For This
We're back into the electronic soul territory here. This is another classy cut. It's a standout.
Painful Truth
This one is more of a modern hip hop meets modern pop music kind of thing. There are some oddly manipulated parts of this that take away from it a bit.
Damn 2
This is a cool tune with Latin and jazz elements at play. It's a nice way to end the set in style. That said, some street sounds and conversation actually close it.
 
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